Ellen Henfield, clothing construction and needlecraft instructor.
By Teri M. Bethel
It is that time of year when teachers prep classrooms anticipating the arrival of their new students. Most teachers have been doing this for the past several weeks as parents look into last minute supplies to make ready for the big day. Educators the world over believe in the importance of welcoming students into a fresh environment that stimulate their desire to learn.
But what many parents and students are not aware of is the ongoing training that is made available to teachers. There are some however who go beyond the mandatory requirements to keep current in their teaching skills. These lone rangers invest in themselves by taking innovative courses to add value to their students’ educational experience.
A number of teachers invest in continuing education studies, which in many cases refresh their existing skills, while others jump feet first into courses that build new skills. While some courses take them overseas others capitalize on technology to engage in distance learning.
This approach to increased skill development places them head and shoulders above the others, giving them the confidence they need to effectively teach their students. It also adds an air of excitement to break the monotony of teaching the “same ole, same ole”, year after year.
What does it do for the students? Well, the incoming students meet a teacher who has new tools and a fresh outlook to their work. Many times teachers find themselves in the doldrums with stale materials; they know the material, but have become bored with it despite their efforts to appear positive. The key to overcoming the humdrum is adding innovation to the teaching tool kit.
Educators are discovering that a helpful way of refocusing their students’ attention in the classroom is by introducing technology in some form. An effective technology is one that encourages students to learn by doing. In this way, students are engaged and creatively stimulated beyond the traditional learning format.
The introduction of technology to the classroom gives more students an opportunity to excel. Those considered to be daft are now showing signs of advancement by a mere addition of simple teaching tools. This only proves to solidify the point that for the most part, unless there is impairment, there are no dumb students; simply students who have not been introduced to an effective teaching method for their style of learning.
A prime example of an educator taking the “stale” out of learning is the dedicated clothing construction and creative needle craft teacher Mrs Ellen Henfield in Eleuthera. Mrs Henfield says she is eager to learn new skills to assist her students with their preparation of coursework for both BJC and BGCSE exams. In garnering this exposure, Mrs Henfield believes that she has improved her skills by investing in learning opportunities which have enhanced what she teaches her students.
• Teri M. Bethel is a texture painting and handbag instructor. She is the designer of Teri Monique Handbags, a line of custom made art purses for ladies. For more information, visit http://www.paintwithtexture.com