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A personal teaching experience in a big class by rositaumce

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· @rositaumce ·
A personal teaching experience in a big class
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Teachers´ aim is to make sense of the world in a special way that will translate those complex ideas on our brain into concepts that students of a certain age can understand. Of course, this requires a particular kind of intellectual enthusiasm with your subject particularly when you have a large number of students to motivate.

 As a History and Geography teacher in a public school, you find that challenge is the only thing you have. However, I tried to make the most of every aspect of my class. Having more than 30 or 40 students per class,  I tried to look at the positive side of it like, the chances of having more talented students who were a kind of inspiration for the rest of the class and made positive contributions to the lesson. Sometimes that made my work easier as I tried to allocate them among those who needed more support.
I remember one particular class group in which I had like 15 very good students, motivated, enthusiastic with a positive attitude towards learning.   Those students made their classmates more involved in the lesson by providing mutual support. In fact, they were an inspiration for the class and for me too.
I discovered that in big classes there were always some students who were natural comedians and they were capable of turning the lesson into an enjoyable and amusing environment. 
**Teaching a big group taught me that big classes make some activities such as debates, discussion, presentations much more productive**, the content knowledge is enriched because you have more students giving opinions and ideas that challenge the rest of the class to participate actively. Obviously, the lesson has to be well planned and the content must be attractive to them. It happened to me when I was teaching civil matters and we approached content such as people rights. Those lessons were a real pleasure.

**I also found that in crowded classes there are some important teaching aspects which can be neglected sometimes. For example, knowledge of the student.**
When you have more than 30 students, it is hard to have knowledge of your students like their names, their strength, weakness, learning problems or needs. That was one of the biggest challenges, to attend the learning needs of the various children, especially when those children have very differing abilities. That is why in my lesson plan I  presented the information in ways suitable for all of them. They included group and individual activities, discussion, internet research, observation, presentation, maps making and maps using and interpreting.

Most of those activities involve constant interaction with the students. You have to guide their work, assess their progress, give them feedback, Nevertheless, my interaction with them at the beginning of the year was poor or scarce because I couldn’t dedicate too much to talk to them individually. But once I got to know them, once I established a good connexion with them, my classroom management improved and that allowed me to carry on with the normal flow of the lesson even when I was giving individual support. 
From that experience I learned two important **'teachning lessons'**: First of all, how important is to develop a good relationship with your students. I realized little by little as I started to get closer to them, talk to them one on one my classroom management went from down here to up here. Secondly, is not good to be very friendly with them as you eventually have to establish your authority and they test your ability to establish and maintain discipline. It is true that some children are constantly seeing what they can get away with.
Despite the size of the class, I tried to attend all my pupil’s needs and I tried to enthuse them by using activities and resources which were connected to their real lives like music, films, internet, pictures, and stories of normal people.
In my countryHistory and Geography are not very popular subjects among the students. Kids think that History and Geography are not relevant to their future. **But as I teacher I really wanted to make them realize how important is to have historical knowledge and how many thinking intellectual skill people can develop when studying History**. So, my main task was to captivate or enchant the students about it. And I did it by transmitting my passion about the subject, by been highly committed to my job. And I think that I did reach my objective. At the moment I have got 3 of my ex students studying History and Pedagogy.
This experience taught me that **teaching is a challenging, inspiring, and gratifying job. I believe that working with young people can give you tremendous satisfaction and inspiration by seeing the amazing abilities children can reveal.**
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