Koh's teaching style

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Description of Mr Koh's teaching style

My junior college form teacher, Mr Koh, who is also my physics teacher, was a very humorous teacher. He often come into class with a bright smile on his face and was well-liked by everyone. His lessons were always filled with fun and laughter as he would frequently share jokes with the class. Moreover, Mr Koh is very patient and has never loses his temper in class. The assurance that nothing is wrong with making mistake as it is part of the learning process has also encourages us to actively speak up in class. Furthermore, Mr Koh always listens attentively to what we say and response positively to our views and comments. Communication of our thoughts and feelings were also encouraged during lesson time.

Mr Koh's management style of mutual respect was well-accepted by the class. Logical consequences instead of harsh punishment are used to correct misbehaviors in class. Prior to the use of logical consequences, he would provide a chance for us to explain our misbehavior. Moreover, we were allowed to be involved in the setting of classroom rules and seating arrangement. Additionally, Mr Koh would use a variety of praises and encouragements for our efforts and good work which makes us feel good. Classroom routine such as getting into our assigned group at the count of 5, the use of 2 claps to indicate a temporary halt for group activities and hand signals to indicate that the noise level is too high are also effective classroom measures that Mr Koh employs.

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Instead of using the traditional lecturing method to teach, Mr Koh often use different method of delivery such as demonstrations, field-trips and interactive simulations for different topics. Similarly, besides standard summative assessment, he would assess our understanding of the various topics through a variety of formative assessments such as group presentations, reflections and practical tests. Mr Koh also loves to include collaborative learning in class whereby we learn and solve problem in pairs or small groups. The group arrangement varies depending on the type of activities. The freedom to choose research topics or projects and the opportunity to conduct independent investigation of several physics concepts were also given. Lastly, Mr Koh never fails to provide just-in-time guidance whenever we run into difficulties. He would vary the level of complexity and scaffolding for each of the group during activities time. Complex task will be broken up into smaller and more manageable parts while stimulating question that requires a high level of thinking were used to engage the higher ability students.

Positive teacher-student relationship.

A positive relationship between the students and the teacher is important for learning to take place effectively. Besides creating an encouraging and conductive classroom environment, it will also improve student's behavior and academic performance. [3] I felt that Mr Koh was an authoritative teacher. He managed to establish positive teacher-student relationship with us and this helped him to engage us in our learning.

Firstly, Mr Koh always greets the students with a bright smile when he comes to class. This portrays a friendly image and reduces the tension in the class. [2] His sense of humor, patience and his ability to control his temper also make lessons more interesting and relaxed. [1] Secondly, communication is very important in the establishment of positive teacher-student relationship. [2,3] Mr Koh constantly encourage us to communicate our thoughts, listen to our views and understand our feelings. This makes us feel that he cared for us, respected us and valued us. Furthermore, the assurance that mistakes are inevitable in the process of learning as well as the positive responses from Mr Koh has also helped to increase our self-esteem and confidence. [1,3] Thus, we were not fearful of speaking up and continue to communicate our thoughts frequently in class. Most importantly, there must be mutual respect between the teachers and students in order to develop positive teacher-student relationship. [3] Mr Koh always treats us with the same respect that he expects from us. Besides allowing us to select our own research topics, be involved in classroom management issues, he also provides us with the opportunities to explain our misbehavior before taking any appropriate punishment. Such democratic classroom practices make us feel respected and valued.

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Effectiveness of Mr Koh's strategies

We came from different secondary schools and had different learning abilities, interest and skill levels. Hence, Mr Koh had to employ a range of differentiated instruction and classroom management for the class of diverse learners. This would address the different learning needs of the class and create a positive learning environment. [10]

The wide varieties of delivery method, materials and assessment tools address the different learning styles, interest and preferences of the class. Concepts can be explored through narrative, foundational, aesthetic, experiential and logical quantitative means. [5] Moreover, these alternatives methods provide several learning options which benefited students who are visual, auditory or kinesthetic learners and encourage active learning. [7] The use of group work and independent investigations has not only allows Mr Koh to cater to the different learning abilities of the class, it also provides flexibility for us to master key concepts at our own pace. The nature of the product could also be determined by the group based on our interest. [8] Lastly, the use of varying level of complexity and scaffolding provides each of us an appropriate level of challenge. [7] This ensures optimum learning for the class as we will not give up when faced with complex task nor feel bored due to the lack of challenges.

Mr Koh's classroom management strategies had also provided a comfortable classroom environment for us to communicate our feelings and thoughts. Through all the jokes, discussions and communication, he had a greater understanding of each of us. The use of democratic classroom practices as well as the provision of choices in the learning process has also allowed him to cater to each of our learning needs. We are empowered with the responsibilities to take ownership of our own learning. Mr Koh's sensitivity coupled with his respect towards each of us also reflects his recognition of the diversity of the class. Lastly, the setting up of classroom routines has enabled the class to respond to Mr Koh's instructions correctly and minimizes the time spend on disciplining or giving instructions.

  1. http://specialed.about.com/od/behavioremotional/p/handlebehav.htm
  2. http://www.ehow.com/how_2055184_improve-student-teacher-relationship.html
  3. http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20090518/news/news10.html
  4. http://www.ncsall.net/?id=736
  5. http://www.glencoe.com/sec/teachingtoday/subject/di_meeting.phtml
  6. http://www.glencoe.com/sec/teachingtoday/subject/improving_science.phtml
  7. https://www.msu.edu/user/cartersi/classmngt.htm (more)