May 12, 2022

The open school: on instruction time

By Sylvestre Phillip MBE

It is my pleasure to welcome you to another open school lesson on teaching time. The school is open to parents, guardians, teachers, students and members of the public. This is the fifth in a series of classes held at the open school every two weeks. I hope that students will gain knowledge and skills that will enable them or their children to meaningfully engage in instructional time.

At the end of the lesson students will be able to (a) explain, in a simple sentence, the meaning of instruction time (b) students will be able to list four ways parents, guardians and teachers could help children be meaningfully engaged in instructional time.

At the end of the lesson, we will reflect on all that we have learned through a simple assessment.

During an interview with two aspiring young leaders on Choice Television this week, Mr. Al-lens Plante revealed that during an online lesson from one of our schools in Saint Lucia which was given by a teacher , a student was asked to answer a question. The pupil’s mother said: “He went to the store to get me this, he will be back soon.

Now the World Health Organization (WHO) has lamented that many students around the world have lost a lot of teaching time and that schools and teachers should find creative ways to allow students to catch up. many lost teaching hours. .

But what is instruction time? Instruction time is the amount of time learners receive instruction from a teacher in the classroom or virtually, i.e. online.

The Ministry of Education, by regulation, has allocated the time that must be spent in school on the different subjects, on the timetable, during the school day.

I hope we have understood the problems created by COVID-19 in education, which affect teaching and learning. In this regard, schools have had to use the distributed learning approach which includes online teaching and learning to enable students to cover their year’s curriculum.

Now, teaching and learning online requires students or learners to be available at home or in a convenient place for teaching.

Teachers have complained that many students are absent when they should be attending lessons prepared for them by their class teachers. And in the case of the student who went to the store for his mother when in fact he should have attended the lesson, this is a typical example of what happens when students should participate in the teaching processes and learning. virtually or online.

Student engagement is necessary for learning to take place. By student engagement, I mean the amount of attention, curiosity, and interest that students show when learning or receiving instruction.

However, student engagement is necessary to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for their academic and social well-being.

Now, what are the many ways teachers and parents could help students engage in learning.

It would be helpful for teachers and parents to help children or learners connect what they are learning to the real world around them. Once the connection is established, students may become more enthusiastic about learning and make themselves available, whether they have to go to class or stay home, in the case of online teaching and learning. line.

Children, students, or learners should be provided with the tools that are necessary or that would facilitate student or learner engagement in a lesson. By tools, I mean textbooks, laptops, and other learning devices.

Students should be encouraged to attend classes regularly, whether in class or online. And parents as well as teachers should develop ways to monitor school attendance or participation.

Teachers should encourage “small group” activities. Many students are more encouraged to participate or express themselves in a small group rather than in the whole or in a large group. They attend better and produce more.

Another strategy would be to encourage students to regularly present their work and share the information with other students.

Teachers and parents can encourage students to engage in teaching and learning processes in many other ways.

Now back to learning devices that would engage students. The Government of Saint Lucia is making every effort to ensure that students have laptops to engage them in learning, especially at this time when a lot of virtual or online learning is taking place.

As I write, the Department for Education has made the decision to reopen school or bring pupils back to class to allow pupils to have a ‘face-to-face’ engagement from Monday 7th February.

Indeed, it is a surefire way to ensure that these students are engaged in learning. Teachers or learning facilitators would have the opportunity to interact with students and provide timely feedback.

In conclusion, I have a few questions for you. (a) In a simple sentence, what is instruction time? (b) List two ways students could participate in learning?

Join me in two weeks for another lesson at the Open School.