Messed up chalkboards… Muddled minds….

Hi Chikku…
Hi mom(glumly)…
How was your day sweetie pie?
Mmmm
Why what happened?
Mmmm
Chemistry class didnt go well mom…
Didnt you understand the concepts…
I would have…but my teacher scribbles all the equations hapzardly on the chalkboard…
I get all confused…
And upset….
Ohhhh God…was my reaction.

As a practising teacher for more than two decades I can confidently say that the chalkboard is the most powerful the cheapest the most available tool of a teacher.
There is a whole chapter on how to use a chalkboard in the Bachelor of Education course.
Sadly very few teachers realise the impact of the chalkboard.

The notebooks of the students are direct mirror images of the chalkboard work of a teacher….consequently the impression and image of a teacher that is carried to the parents at home.
As a child I had the good fortune of having teachers making excellent use of the chalkboard.

The most memorable being Thomas Maam….
Who taught Biology in class 9 and 10…she would always carry her own set of coloured chalkpieces…she would develop the diagram part by part on the chalkboard and by the end of the class we were thoroughly acquainted with the topic…she would insist on us using colour pencils in our notebooks too…even an average student like me scored great marks in her subject…eventually leading to a graduation in Biological Sciences…
Even now I remember vividly the diagrams of focal length ..convex and concave mirrors…drawn so clearly on the blackboard by my Physics maam…Nagabhushnam maam…which otherwise being a dry subject would have gone far above my head….
There was also Sharma sir who taught Social Sciences…and he would draw the map of India in a jiffy…and take us right into the heart of the subject with his vivid explanations…
How can I forget Agarwal sir…the Maths teacher in 11th and 12th….
Oh my God…he would treat the blackboard as tenderly as ….as one would with a girlfriend…
The blackboard would be wiped out clean …jet black…
The date on the left…the topic in the centre…the board divided into two…
Then he had his own brand of dustless chalk which he would hold artistically between the two fingers…
And he would start writing like a beautiful skater skating smoothly on the surface of the ice….
The problem would be written in such a way…step by step…with the equal to signs exactly one below the other like soldiers standing in a parade…
Even the dumbest student in the class would understand the most complicated problems…such was his magic ….and I truly believe the chalkboard was his stage when I look back today….
The chalkboards are being replaced by technology which is actually leading to loss of memory….as studies have indicated that the fast moving visuals on the screen fail to register quickly and the brain fails to retain them….
The chalkboard is a tool which must be used to the maximum as it creates a visual especially in schools….. lasting for the whole duration of the period…which can be used to develop the topic…for brainstorming…for the slow learners to catch up…

A single visual of the chalkboard is equal to a thousand words…

Hoping for the best…
This one is for all the teachers…
Among us…

Haseena Dudekula

© 2016 all rights reserved

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