The school term is almost coming to an end and what do teachers normally do? Complete endless reports? (don't forget your SKT!) Clear the clutter on the table and in the drawers? Well, I've been reflecting a lot on my teaching in 2010. This in a sense is more important to me than the yearly appraisal that we need to hand in- some critical reflection that will help me become a better teacher. I've been wondering a lot about the materials I've been utilising in the classroom. It's no joke that I spend a lot of time choosing the materials to be used in the classroom on a week-to-week basis and photocopying. Some teachers are smarter because they rely heavily on the textbook! The only reservation I have on the textbook is the language level that is too high for my students. Yes, I'm guilty of not using the textbook...I use a lot of materials from other sources like the internet and books. But wait a minute...what do we need materials for?
- Can we not have teaching materials and teach as effectively?
- Are the worksheets, textbooks, workbooks and other teaching aids doing the teaching for us?
- Where is the point in say, a 40-minute class that we are teaching?
- What if for the sake of argument you are not allowed to bring any teaching materials into the classroom? Yes, just you, your students, the blackboard and some furniture..
- Will you be able to teach?
- Will teachers be handicapped?
Seriously, where is the part that the teacher is teaching? Teachers claim to have the pedagogical knowledge and skills and on top of that they have been trained to teach. Aren't we too dependent on teaching materials sometimes that the materials are doing the teaching for us? Well, I'm not sure if I have all the answers to the questions but I think it's food for thought for all those in the English fraternity. This could even result in the birth of a paper for MELTA next year :) Who knows?