Teachers at Pasxcel mostly come from a non-teaching background meaning they didn’t pursue a professional teaching course but instead decided to switch careers after practising what they have studied for. I come from a similar background as well whereby I was a practising medical doctor in a government hospital for a couple of years before switching to being an educator at Pasxcel. I would say that having a different career path before becoming a teacher actually gives me an advantage especially in the way I approach my lessons.
In order to be an effective educator, one must be well-read not just in their subject alone but also on other global issues that are related to it. The textbook is only used as a guide when it comes to our lessons as a lot of the information shared with the students come from diverse sources ranging from research papers, journals, podcast sessions and so on. Recently, the documentary “Seaspiracy” created a stir among the earthlings. In the IGCSE Biology syllabus, there is a topic on the influences of humans on the ecosystem and the new information acquired from “Seaspiracy” will be used when I discuss this topic with my students.
Notice how I didn’t use the word teach but instead, I mentioned discuss because that’s exactly what teachers at Pasxcel do. Teaching by traditional meaning would imply one-way learning in the sense that the teacher speaks and the student listens. But when we change it to a discussion, it opens up the floor to various interesting perspectives that spark the teacher’s desire to continue learning as well. In a survey conducted by The Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development of New York University (NYU) on “How does student participation influence student achievement?”, it was reported that 72% of those surveyed felt that an increase in classroom involvement would lead to academic improvement.
As the current and upcoming generation becomes more tech-savvy and active on social media, educators would find it helpful to incorporate fragments of content from platforms like YouTube, Instagram and the like to ignite interest in their subject. I have even used TikTok videos that highlight people’s lack of intelligence and awareness about their actions which causes an impact on the balance of the ecosystem in my classes. When you give scenarios that students can relate to, it will definitely lead to an exchange of views and at times even debates! This will definitely help students learn from each other, increasing comprehension through teamwork.
I also notice that discussions improve relationships among students and also the bond between individual students and the educator. This is also the reason why students at Pasxcel are very comfortable even sharing personal issues with their teachers and look up to them as their mentors. Once the trust of the student is gained, then the educator will have a greater impact on the student’s involvement and performance in school.
At Pasxcel, we absolutely dismiss the idea of rote learning which has been practised for decades now and has proven to be futile. We are pleased and proud to be the game-changer in the education arena emphasizing two-way learning as the way to the future!
Written by Pasxcel’s Master Teacher, Ms Devina.