However, during this learning journey, students do encounter problems that might affect their school performance.In this essay, I will highlight some of my learning problems that I have experienced as a student at a secondary level school located in the western side of the main island of Fiji known as Ba (soccer crazy town). This school is still a famous school and majority students then were average or exceptional and therefore teachers expectations were quite high.
The task given for the aim of this essay brings back some recollections and to write down its concern at this level of study provides a brand new insight to the things might have been at that point of time. This paper can specialize in the learning issues encountered back then and ways that it affected my school performance then. It allows one to think how it could have been overcome.
Learning Problems as a Student
Students life is full of challenges. Right from puberty issues, personal problems and to top it up, the learning problems which basically arises from the education institutes .
Being from an Indian background and English as a second language, I always had trouble in understanding English as a subject. As far as secondary school, I had a very bad experience as I had the same English teacher from Forms 5 – 7. The English class normally had Target or Link activities as well as Literature readings with minimum instructions. In addition, being the compulsory subject, one initiative of the school administration was to speak English at all times with heavy penalties if not adhered to this. In other schools, teachers were encouraged to teach in vernacular where possible for better understanding but this was not a scenario anticipated in my school.
Moving on, I had great mathematics teachers. However, I had the same teacher from Forms 5 – 7 through and He was very knowledgeable, with no doubt about it but he was very soft spoken, not able to deliver the content properly and there was no variation in his teaching style. This made the math learning very boring and challenging at times.
Learning Problems as a Hindrance to School Performance
I had difficulty in the two most important subjects, English and Mathematics, that is considered to be necessary in everyday living which had a great impact on my academic performance.
Firstly, my English teacher used to get the two textbooks, namely, Target and Link. Her instruction was to attempt questions from the textbooks and after the completion of the tasks by few exceptional students, each student from one side would take turns to answer the questions. This was the routine throughout until majority of the activities being achieved from the two textbooks. In addition, while reading literature such as novels or short stories, again each student from a particular sitting order was asked to read a paragraph each while the others just required to follow through.
It had a great impact on my school performance. Though the activities were from the prescribed textbooks, there was no guidance as to how actually it needs to be tackled. As a student, I usually get distracted and to the extent of day dreaming in classes. This also contributed to the lack of concentration in the classroom and lack of confidence in English examinations especially in writing essay or letters since there was hardly any instructions and back then, there was no access to internet or you tube to guide in our learning. I would be glad to see a pass in internal examinations.
Secondly, I am very passionate about Mathematics. I would consider myself lucky that I had an interest in this subject. Nevertheless, my learning in the classroom affected my performance. My teacher used to enter the classroom with no books and straightway, will fill the blackboard with notes and activities. This was really amazing, yet his delivery tone and inability to explain difficult concept really made me struggle in this subject. Majority time the effort to ask questions or to clarify doubts, his usual reply was “ You figure it out”. Thus, this lead to a drop in competitiveness amongst other students and it only became a matter of attaining a pass in exams and finishing high school.
Suggestions as to What Teachers Could Have Done to Overcome These Problems
Make links to real-world for a greater understanding of why it is to be learnt. For instance, while teaching math emphasis on its usages such as write out checks, pay bills, buy groceries, calculate the roughly cost or getting a correct change. This will help them connect why they must learn what they are learning for their future. Incorporate local cultural context in their lesson delivery with localized examples or concepts equally similar or present in the students life. Thus, infusing real world experiences into your instructions will make teaching moments fresh, and enrich classroom learning. (Student, 2018)
Teaching & Learning
Language needs in teaching and learning process could be addressed. A teacher plays a significant role in improvement of not only linguistic skills but in the delivery of the subject contents and in this code switching can meaningfully aid in grasping of the new concepts and become an active part in the learning experience (Moore D. , 2002).
As suggested by TeachHUB (TeachHUB, 2018), varying teaching methods to capture student’s attention, and conveying ideas effectively to create a lasting impression.
Include classroom games. It doesn’t matter if you are 8 years or 18 years old, everybody loves to play games and it can make students engaged without being feeling bored.
Make classroom interactive. Involved students in your teaching and making it hands-on. For instance, group work where students work together as a team to learn and complete a task. Thus, each student is responsible for their own part, but must work as a group in order to complete the task.
Teaching through role play is a great way to make children step out of their comfort zone and develop their interpersonal skills especially teaching literature, history or current events. Role playing is most effective for students of almost any age group.
Stories and poems. Allow students to create stories or poems based from some English keywords.
Nevertheless, teachers can work together as a team, collaborate, introduce innovative teaching methods and share views on ways to improve teaching methods. The end result of collaborative effort is always immense. (Edsys, 2018)
According to Rue, (Rue, 2018) technology is what students live and breathe every day. Incorporate some kind of technology such as smartboard, projectors, video conferencing with other schools to enjoy learning. Take the help of tools to stimulate creativity. Teachers to be able to identify each student’s creative abilities and encourage creative contributions, be it mathematics, science, or English. Think of ways to develop creative ideas and freedom to explore.
To sum up, own personal experiences from schools can shape up teachers lesson delivery in a classroom. The use of variety of teaching strategies, culturally inclusiveness, local context can address the learning needs of the students. Together with incorporation with technology tools, It will not only improve the learning of the content but also increase creativity, self-esteem, self-confidence and thus improve students’ academic performance.