While school is out for August vacation, Challenging Heights School teachers gathered in the community library for a training session with Headmaster Eric Asamani.
Titled “Positive Discipline and Classroom Management,” Asamani aimed to remind his teaching staff how their roles at Challenging Heights School is not just to teach material, but to set a good example and be role models for students.
The group discussed how to manage behaviour in the classroom, even going over the language they could use to speak with children about respecting and using time efficiently.
Asamani reminded teachers that they, along with the children, needed to come to work dressed neatly and professionally. He said that students will better respect their teachers and also be more apt to follow their lead in proper behaviour.
After having one teacher stand up and model what he was wearing, Headmaster Asamani wrapped a stuffed animal around his neck and asked the teachers what was wrong with what he was wearing. He wore dress pants and a button down shirt, but he said the stuffed toy would cause a distraction. Even if a teacher is wearing proper attire, Asamani says it must be done neatly. Male teachers should tuck in their shirts; female teachers need to watch how short their skirts are. All teachers need to dress neatly, or else the students will focus on what they are wearing, versus the lesson at hand.
Teachers are expected to be prepared for class, understanding their own lessons and therefore, being prepared for any question from a child. Madam Rosemond explained that she wants to have her methodologies set before beginning a lesson. Asamani acknowledged that if teachers are unprepared, students will know.
Specific ways to speak to children in class were also discussed. Asamani wants teachers to give students choice in their responses, to encourage their decision making. He also expects teachers to think about the statements they are making to their students during the day, and he wants them to keep them positive.
Teachers discussed real-life examples of questions and concerns in their classrooms, how to mitigate fights between students and encourage those who may not be interested in participating.
“Are you aware that you’re an Agent of Change to the pupils?” is a question Asamani posed to the teachers as they look forward to the next school year.
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Winneba, Central Region, Ghana.
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