Unity College Principals, retired colleagues go back to classrooms, advise teachers

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Lagos  – Principals of some Unity Colleges in the country on Thursday reiterated the need for teachers to adopt conversational teaching methodology rather than the usual lecture method.

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They spoke at the 2015 World Teachers Day celebration of King’s College Lagos, organised on the theme, “Veteran Teachers; Back to the Classroom’’.

The News Agency of the Nigeria (NAN), reports that some Principals and retired Principals of Unity Colleges across the country were in various classrooms in the main campus of the institution to teach various subjects.

The principals were seen engaging the students in a conversational method as they took them through some subjects.

The Principal of the College, Mr Oladele Olapeju, who is set to retire in a few days after putting in 35 years in teaching, described the experience as fulfilling and a befitting legacy to leave behind.

According to him, the experience that comes with teaching over the years cannot be quantified.

”First and foremost, I will say I was a classroom teacher, and once a teacher, always a teacher. It is satisfying doing what you know how to do best.

”It gives me joy to stand in front of these students and do what I will call re-igniting a passion.

”Teaching is the most noble profession in the world and it is only important that teachers realise their calling and do justice to it at all times.

”We, as veteran teachers, decided to go into the classrooms today to do it ourselves practically and to set a tone for better approach of teaching in our schools across the country,” he said.

Olapeju said that the college was also seizing the opportunity to appreciate and celebrate its teachers for their commitment and perseverance in moulding and nurturing future leaders of the country.

The Principal of Queen’s College, Dr (Mrs) Lami Amodu, on her part, said that a lot of teachers might have gone through the requisite training to become teachers, but still lacked the technical expertise.

Amodu said that teachers must learn to adopt the conversational or interactive mode of teaching in whatever subject they teach, if they intend to achieve maximum output.

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According to her, gone are the days when teachers only rely on the lecture mode, which is counterproductive and outdated.

”Teachers must realise that they cannot continue to do the same thing over and over, even in the face of fast evolving trends and technology.

”We have this attitude of going into a class to lecture, which to a large extent has not been too rewarding.

”We must start approaching teaching from another angle if we must create the necessary impact on the students and the country at large.

”I have been a teacher and will always remain a teacher. The fact that I am a principal today does not change the fact that I am a teacher, which is where experience also comes in,” she said.

Amodu urged teachers to always imbibe the culture of studying the entry behaviour of the students as well as engage them in interactive mode of teaching.

She said that the application of this method of teaching would not only assist in getting the students relaxed, but would equally get them fully involved.

According to her, it is also important to evaluate the students at the end of the entire exercise by means of asking questions and giving out assignments.

She advised teachers to be patient with the students as most of them needed more of conversational teaching where they would be able to express themselves freely.

”I want to state that the students had a nice time today when I walked in to teach them Civic Education.
“I can tell from the way they participated in the classroom that they all had a full grasp of the topic, which was on youth empowerment.

”Personally, I will describe the whole experience as worthwhile, stimulating and intellectually fulfilling. Teaching is indeed a noble profession,” she said.

Mrs Mojisola Abolade, a former principal of three Unity Colleges in the country, urged teachers to strive to sustain the profession by giving their best.

Seventy-year-old Abolade said that there was also an urgent need for teachers to empower themselves through continuous reading.

She said that teachers must strive to be ahead of their students always, especially in the present technology age, in order to avoid being embarrassed.

”I had a wonderful experience teaching them Economics.

“All through my stay with them in the class, I engaged them through discussions and I can tell from the way they were responding to the questions I asked them that they understood it well.

”Also, teachers must ensure that they know these students by their names. I will describe today’s experience as re-igniting the old flame,” she said.

NAN reports that the high point of the event was the presentation of various gift items to all the teaching and non- teaching staff of the college. (NAN)

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