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Teaching Lessons from a Guest Lecturer

20 April 2016

For over two weeks I was ill beyond comprehension. I was discharged after spending a night in the hospital. I informed my dean and learners I won’t make it to class that Thursday, but I was not going to recover to on time for the next week either. One of my colleagues – who has graduated to be a brother – asked me if he could take my class the following week. I agreed happily. He did not finish the topic that week, and asked to continue to the following week. I allowed him, but I sat in the class too. I could not hid my gratitude to him for that second week, for I doubt I would have lasted the 2.45 hours.

Anyway, I wanted to know one thing each learner liked, and one thing s/he did not like about him, so I will add his positives to mine, and improve on the non-positives. These are the main points they learners wrote for me on the flashcards I gave them.

Positives

    I liked the fact that he took his time in teaching.

    I liked the way he taught the mathematical aspect of the course.

    He was very straight to the point, and he involves the class in discussion.

Non-positives

He taught well just that those at the back could not actually hear him well. The white board is far, so most of things he wrote was not visible.

    He was too mathematical. His examples did not relate more to real life instance.

Grey areas

We did not sit in groups as we normally do; this helped us to have enough time to go through the slides since there was no group discussions.

    He did not use groups in teaching us.

My Reflections
Having sat in the class on the second week, I doubt I would have gone through the NPV calculations as he did. I would have mentioned that in real-life projects have Project Accountants, but will discuss the concept of selecting projects from a list of available projects and the various methods for undertaking such selection. On the other hand, if I did the mathematics, I would have given the learners to undertake similar calculations in groups based on the projects I made them select in the initial stages of the course. Such group work I believe is also part of involving the class.

For the non-positives, I often ask those in the back seat to answer some questions as a way of finding out whether they can hear my clearly. I think that continuously asking them “Can you hear me?” can become monotonous, and some cavalier learners may even coin an unpalatable sobriquet out of such repetitions.

It is unclear whether not sitting in groups was a like or dislike; the learner neither labelled the flashcard, and the statement sounds neutral. However, I will continue mixing group tasks with direct instruction to achieve necessary engagement and variety.

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One Comment
  1. It is only when we experience a change that we can tell if we had always been on the better path or deviated entirely. In the midst of all the bad, you got to know how some students feel about your methods, what can be done to improve it and what to ignore. I guess the main goal is to help them understand and put to use the lessons taught.
    Big ups to your brother, he surely is a true one. God bless him

    You are changing the world one little heart beat at a time! keep that in mind. kudos!!!

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