Tomorrow I will be sharing lesson study with a group of teachers in SMK Taman Johor Jaya 2. The principal is collaborating with a PHD student on the programme and I'm glad to be of assistance. We will have theory and practical for half a day and hope that everything will go well.
PLC (Professional learning community) is the buzzword now and lesson study (LS) is undoubtedly an important programme/tool to produce quality teachers. How can you improve teaching without LS? This was one question popped at me during a course/meeting I attended some time back. It got me thinking....a lot...and thinking is what we teachers need to do more.......seriously :) How can we even dream of thinking classrooms if teachers are not doing enough thinking about what happens in the four walls of the classroom? How do we sharpen the saw as teachers? Are we faking it?
If a teacher doesn't sit down and plan quality lessons then we are going no where. You can shove down their throats all sorts of programmes and ideas but the teacher has got to do his or her basic responsibility which is to prepare lessons and teach well. Of course, it takes time to become skillful at your trade but it has to start from thinking about the lesson and planning to teach it well. It sounds like hardwork doesn't it but that is what teaching is! HARDWORK. Of course we get sidetracked by many things- co curricular activities, meetings, deadlines, courses and what not but at the end of the day, we are paid to teach.
One way to instill professionalism in teachers is through LS i.e teachers talk about what they do best in the classroom- TEACHING. Not many take LS up because they say it's time-consuming, frightening etc. Yes I realise it takes time for a professional culture to be instilled in our teachers. Time and space (plus recognition) must be accorded to teachers. We have many programmes in place but some are just touch and go. My take is that we don't need so many programmes- the MOE does not have to jump at every single new idea and launch it. Instead take a few and develop and sustain them. LS could be such a programme. Many a lab to brainstorm ideas is good but does the idea reach the masses, the teachers?
Schools can be more creative in the running of its daily affairs and braver to change things. Do away with maintenance culture and switch to developmental culture. Instead of having endless meetings in the afternoons, conduct LS where teachers learn and collaborate. Why not? And if principals are brave enough, start the culture by using some of the morning classes for LS. Instructional time is not wasted but enhanced. The impact I believe, will be far-reaching. LS will ultimately shape the kind of professionalism we dream of in teachers. Let me leave you with this quote to ponder upon. It got me thinking a lot!
If they aren't learning
you aren't teaching.
you aren't teaching.
|(credit: google images)|
Those who can DO, Those who can do more TEACH