Monthly Archives: October 2013

The Classic School Experience

Getting The Most Out Of Secondary School

 Secondary school is the best time for a lot of people. This is the time where school becomes more interesting because of the many activities that are being done. School now involves not only lessons but also a number of sports and club activities. Education takes a more rounded approach in order to prepare the youth for more responsibilities at the universities and in real life later on.

Education is Nigeria has indeed taken more concrete steps towards building and empowering the youth of the nation. Even school books in Nigeria across all levels are based on curricula with standards that are recognized all over the world.

To PTA or not to PTA?

The Importance of PTAs

A child’s education is a shared responsibility between parents and school. Cognizant of this fact, parent teacher associations are created to provide an avenue for teachers and parent to work together in order to bring about a conducive atmosphere for learning both in the school and at home. It should be borne in mind that jeopardizing one of these environments can affect the total learning potential of a student.

Regular PTA meetings are held towards achieving this purpose. During these meetings, teachers and parents alike share ideas to enhance learning opportunities as well as ferret out solutions when problems arise concerning a student’s academic status.  It is crucial that parents realize the importance of attending PTA meetings. School officials and teachers should also ensure that matters tackled are given concrete actions and that results are assessed and accessible so that parents can see the value of PTA meetings.

Proof-reading Your Book

Proofreading is an indispensable part of publishing. If you have written a book and engage the services of publishers in Nigeria, they can do the proofreading job for you together with the other publishing concerns that they will be consulting with you throughout the duration of the project. However, if you are self-publishing, you can either hire a freelance proofreader or you can do the proofreading yourself.

If you are doing the latter, the best way is doing it backwards. You start from the last line on the last page and work your way upwards. It is very important that you do it this way because normal reading will not allow you to see spelling or punctuation mistakes simply because you will tend to gloss over the script and miss the errors. However, when you do it from finish to start, you are not actually reading your script but looking for typo errors instead.

Managing Conflicts In The Classroom

Teaching Conflict Resolution In Schools

One of the social skills that is best learned in a school setting is conflict resolution. This is an essential aspect of relationship building that students can use in their personal life and later at the workplace. Teaching students how to effectively resolve conflicts through their everyday dealing with their schoolmates makes the skill more relevant.

As part of our children’s education process, we need to teach them that conflicts and disagreements are realities of life and thus resolution skills are necessary.  We need to teach them how to conduct open dialogues in order to reach agreements in a peaceful manner. Consulting the teacher or a responsible adult should be encouraged so that the children are guided in working out their issues.

It is also important that children are able to look at adults as role models for conflict resolution. Oftentimes this is not the case because other adults are not able to make amends quickly when there is a disagreement. Education technology can be utilized as an avenue to increase awareness within the school community on the importance of cultivating harmonious and enriching relationships.

Empowering Nigerian Teachers

Any government who wants to improve its education services should put premium importance to teacher empowerment. Teachers are the front liners in education; they are the ones who have direct influence on our children’s learning and character formation.

As it is true the world over, Nigerian teachers should also be empowered through appropriate training as well as making available to them reaching tools that are relevant to modern learning. A good teacher can maximize the full development of a child’s potential when he or she is well equipped not only with knowledge and teaching techniques but also with the technology that comes with it. As the world becomes increasingly connected and global competitiveness becomes more apparent, teachers should be prepared to give the best to their students.

It is in this vein that First Veritas organizes seminars and workshops to train teachers on new innovation, skills etc.

How to Meet Parents’ Needs

Parents’ needs can be as diverse as student needs. However, a school community cannot exist without the parents. It has to be the goal of every school to inculcate in the parents’ minds that education is a shared responsibility and that they need to be supportive and get involved in order for teachers to give to their students the best education possible. Creating a parent-teacher association is a good idea of promoting parent empowerment as well as an avenue to solicit the support of the parents in various school activities.

Schools need to realize that parents have their own individual biases. Because of this, they may not always support whatever innovation the school system is implementing. When this happens, school authorities should reach out to encourage intelligent discussions to iron things out. The goal should always point to collaboration or cooperation between parent and teachers.

Here are some questions that can help school administration build better relationship with parents:

  1. Are we communicating only when we need something from them?
  2. Do principals and teachers realize what are the actual concerns parents’ have regarding their child’s education?
  3. Are we quick to talk and slow to listen?
  4. Do parents really feel that the school is genuinely concerned for their child’s welfare and development?

Again, the success or failure of a system largely depends on the cooperation of everyone concerned. And parents can appreciate more what the school is doing for their children if they can truly see that the school cares.

Making Memorization Fun

We all know that memorization can get boring and tedious for students who are more interested in more practical lessons. It is therefore essential that teachers are able to come up with great ideas to make memorization fun – such as mnemonics.

Here are some of the most effective mnemonics that you can use in teaching:

  1. Music Mnemonics – Children just love to sing and putting music into a list of items can make memorization way easier and fun for them. How else could you make little children memorize the alphabet easily than making them sing it?
  2. Name Mnemonics – Assigning a name of a person or thing to the first letter of the items in a list is another memorization strategy. An example is ROY G. BIV which stands for the colors the rainbow which is red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.
  3. Ode or Rhyme Mnemonics – One of the most fun ways of memorizing as well as teaching a concept to children is putting information in the form of a poem. For example, the days in a month is easily recalled with this mnemonic:

30 days hath September, April, June, and November.
All the rest have 31, except February my dear son.
It has 28 and that is fine, but in Leap Year it has 29.

Teachers can source mnemonics in books and other materials. However, the more creative ones can compose something that has more relevance and meaning to his or her class.

Foreign Languages in Nigerian Schools

The idea of including foreign languages study in the system of education in Nigeria is relevant. In this day and age where the world is increasingly becoming connected, we cannot afford to allow language barrier to hinder a nation’s development. If education is considered as human empowerment, then the study of foreign languages has a direct impact on the scientific and technological development of a country as well as in the enhancement of economic and political relationships of the nation to the rest of the world.

In relation to the celebration of The International Mother Language Day, the importance of offering foreign languages in Nigerian schools was also emphasized alongside with the need for Nigerian children to cultivate facility of their mother tongue. As one respected professor stressed, the study of foreign languages is something that the Nigerian government should pay more attention to. His indeed speaking for the voices of many Nigerians who support the addition of both foreign and local language studies in their educational programs.

Indeed the importance of the acquisition of foreign languages opens better opportunities of participating more aggressively in the international community. It allows us as well to exchange ideas with people the world over.

How to Meet Student’s Expectations

There are many ways of approaching education. Every teacher has his or her own way of imparting knowledge to students. Whether they are teacher-driven or student-centered, everyone should be aware that the more important issue that needs to be addressed with regards to education in Nigeria is whether the learning expectations of the students are met. Much of how these things are handled largely depends on the leader or the school administration. Education is so much more than what school books can offer – it is being exposed to real life experiences that give more relevance to classroom learning.

Here are some tips on how to meet student expectations:

  1. Significance – Are the lessons being taught cater to the needs of modern day education?
  2. Interest – Are the lessons being taught interesting enough to provoke students to think and challenge their abilities?
  3. Actual Application – Are they able to apply to real life situations the lessons they learned?
  4. Options – Are students given options on what to learn and how? Are there enough elective subjects that students can choose from depending on their interest level?
  5. Validation – Do the community respect the work of the students?
  6. Risk Taking – Are students allowed to learn from their mistakes? How does the school view failure in connection to student learning?

Admittedly these are just few of the many ways that a teacher or the school as a whole system can do in order to maximize learning. However, these are important things to ponder on and can serve as a jump start.

The Benefits Of Outdoor Learning For Nigerian Students

Learning does not only happen in the four walls of a classroom. It has been said that going places is the best way to learn. That is why excursions, field trips and other forms of outdoor learning is an effective way of teaching students concepts that are not normally learned in traditional classroom setting. A memorable experience during field trips can impact a child’s learning for a long time even after the said experience.

Fun outdoor activities are also opportunities of imbibing leadership skills as well as self-confidence. Also, it is during these trips that children and teachers form closer bonds. A closer relationship between children and teacher normally translates to better attention in the lessons. Outdoor learning can also facilitate individual growth as well as enhancement of social skills.

Outdoor experience also exposes students to experiential learning. Topics like appreciation of nature is best assimilated when students are able to actually see and experience how it is, to commune with nature and importance of preserving it.  The benefits of learning outside the classroom do not stop there though. The opportunity to take risks and learn new skills has a very positive impact among student, a lesson that they can carry with them through life.