Why Students Must be Active Class Participants?
- Feb 02, 2015
Nora raised her hand for the fifth time. It was her Grammar class. Her teacher was calling out sentences leaving blanks that had to be filled in by students with appropriate prepositions. As usual, some students preferred to wait for others to answer the questions. But, Nora was different. She always made it a point to play an active role in her classroom sessions and thus was her teacher’s favorite.
Now, some of you might be feeling, “How come Nora knows all the answers?” Well, let me share the secret then. Sometimes, Nora’s answers turned out to be accurate. But, there are also times when the teacher points out her mistakes as she blurts out an inappropriate answer. Also, this eleven-year-old girl never hesitates to raise her hand when she has doubts in her lessons.
This is exactly what is known as ‘active classroom participation”. Because, unless communication is a two-way process, it isn’t successful. For instance, how would your teacher know that you’ve understood the chapter she has taught, if you don’t discuss the related queries with her? Your feedback would enable your teacher to know your strengths and weaknesses, thereby guiding you better.
Being an active participant in the classroom has many benefits.
- Offers feedback: As I said, feedback is essential for any kind of communication. If your answer is incorrect, you can get an instant feedback from your teacher, and rectify your errors. Similarly, if you ask questions to your teacher, she would clarify your doubts and help you score higher grades in the exams. This way, teachers get to know your weak areas and emphasize on specific points that help you learn more effectively. So, feedback is provided to teachers and students both.
- Involves students: Encouraging students to participate in class can really motivate them to pay attention. It’s a great way to make students listen to you. Some teachers repeat their questions and randomly choose students to answer them. So, their students are compelled to focus on what’s being taught, and are not distracted at all. You will find that when you discuss something, the concept becomes clearer and easier. Instead, if you keep shut, you would never get to understand the concepts thoroughly.
- Develops speaking skills: If you engage in conversations within your peer groups and also your teacher, you’re doing yourself a favor. How? By developing your speaking skills. Today, most professions require you to participate in group discussions and give presentations. You can sail smoothly through them, if you are a confident speaker, who doesn’t stammer at every sentence. So, keep asking questions when in doubt, answering your teacher’s questions, arguing to present your opinions and clarifying others’ queries inside classrooms. It really helps!
- Build analytical skills: When you are involved in active classroom debates, you are analyzing each and every perspective of a concept, before presenting it. Your brain is busy churning out new ideas and even vocabulary that helps you express your answers. Do you know how much it helps build your analytical powers? It inspires you to think deeply about a subject and form your own opinion about it as well. Such little brainstorming sessions goes a long way in empowering your personality.
- Adds ‘interest’ element: Do you know why good students are never bored in class? It’s because they are eager to learn and participate in their learning sessions. Some of you might be tempted to doze off or chat with your classmates in whispers during your teacher’s lecture, out of sheer boredom. Try listening to every word the teacher states and follow the lesson, for a change – and ask questions to the teacher, for a change. And see the difference. I bet you would start loving those classes.
- Helps prepare for exams: Having trouble preparing for your final exams? Tensed because you cannot grasp an experiment in Physics? Just make a list of all your queries in your notebook and consult them with your teacher. Your teacher would discuss these doubts with the entire class. And, you can get solutions from multiple sources and even an expert opinion from the teacher herself. Half the lesson is already learnt if you are actively involved in each of your classroom discussions.
- Saves your time: Most students waste their precious time, trying to figure concepts on their own rather than asking the teacher for assistance. Now, this is a habit that can cost you dearly, especially if your exams are around the corner. So, next time you get stuck somewhere, stop! And, approach the teacher. She would be glad to help you wriggle out of your mess. It is better to be a fool once than to remain one for the rest of your life.
When I was a student, I admit, I was reluctant to ask questions at times. But then, most of the times, I went up to my Math teacher whenever I stumbled against Calculus, or Quadratic Equations. Yes, I was a bit scared of her because she was quite strict, but she never grew impatient when I was unable to work out the simplest sums! In fact, she seemed relieved when I told her, “Ma’am, I’m afraid I did not get the fifth step of the sum you just explained on the board”.
So, dear students, go ahead and enjoy participating in your class. Trust me, it is really an enjoyable as well as a great learning experience!
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