The aim is to suggest that schools need not be beholden to corporate interests in how they operate and manage their data, and that there is value in community, openness and design by educators.
The aim is for students to work in groups to prepare and deliver professional development sessions for teachers. Students develop their abilities in presentation, communication and collaboration. Teachers get to learn new skills, and see education from the other side of the desk:
“I could sense that the students loved the topics they taught and it showed in their enthusiasm. Made me think of how my students see me when I teach.” – Participating teacher
And students start to understand what life is like for their teachers.
“This activity helped the students to know a teacher’s role and what it is like for their teachers. The interaction between teachers and students was great.” – Participating teacher
During ICT classes, students spent time devising, naming, imagining and planning their sessions. They presented to each other, to themselves, and to a few teachers too. Their work was filmed and reviewed by themselves and their peers. Over 9 lessons of 70 minutes each, groups polished, improved, refined and rehearsed. They strove to be imaginative, creative, clear and professional. On the day, all were nervous, but at the same time they managed to channel their energy into doing a great job. At times, they modeled current best-practice in the classroom:
“I think this group of boys were exceptional in their preparation and communication. I loved how hands on it was and they let us learn by doing.”
Relieved to be finished, students commented on how happy they were, and how much they enjoyed their experience. But, as is the way with technology, not everything went to plan:
“I really enjoyed the Teach A Teacher event. I have experienced that being a teacher is not that easy, you need to plan out the lesson really carefully. I noticed that I should always plan about what would you need to do when you’re having technical difficulties.” – Charlie Yau, Year 7 Student
Asked how they found the experience of being taught by students, teachers reported the following:
“It was a very good learning experience both for students and teachers. I enjoyed it a lot.”
“Loved the fun aspect of the presenter that used the sword in place of a pointer!”
“Great! I learnt a lot and felt very comfortable with the students teaching me. The best thing about this is that I can ask silly questions and not be laughed at!”
This is an event which will definitely be repeated, and hopefully expanded, in 2014. Please feel free to email me if you wish to receive information about next year’s event, either to come as a learner, or to enter student teams from your school.