I have my taste of teaching 6 tutorial classes of 2-hour each after a long while (about 7 years). In addition, I delivered a 2-hour lecture as part of my weekly teaching routine. Each teaching staff teaches a minimum of 2 different subjects and I am no different. 2 or more lecturers per subject permits support for each other and assistance in quality check on the subject.
Teaching is not a profession which some people think is a semi-retirement job. Lecturers owe it to the students to deliver the lessons in a clear and understandable way. We have to place ourselves in the shoes of the students and anticipate what concepts will be difficult for students to grapple with. Can we make it any simpler for students to understand? What are some illustrations that students can relate to? All these require pre-lesson preparations.
Can we stretch the students who are capable and how about students who are below average in ability? How can we motivate students who have other agenda in coming to school? The students, regardless, who they are, deserve out individual attention.
Because we have a May 1 public holiday this week, the teaching staff will have to do a make-up lesson for students whose lesson falls on the holiday, and this means finding a 2-hour slot which all students in the class can attend. Next, the venue for the make-up class must be booked.
Teaching 4 hours non-stop, back-to-back can be exhausting and it affects our vocal chords. Can we be able to maintain the same level of enthusiasm for the subsequent class in this situation? Each class has a different group dynamic. Some are easier than others to teach. They come prepared for the tutorial and contribute in the class discussion. Some are less than interested in your lessons.
The oft-heard statements: “I cannot afford to fall sick, because of my classes. It is so inconvenient to postpone the lesson”. So when a teaching colleague takes sick leave, there is always a scramble to find an adjunct tutor or to get the existing staff to cover the lesson. We have to be healthy and fit to last the semester under an ideal situation.
So next time, we hear of a dedicated teacher or lecturer, he/she deserves our respect.