A Well Aligned Course
The foundation on which student learning and our teaching is built is a close concordance between the desired learning outcomes (or course goals), the teaching activities and the assessment of students' work. When this trio of components all work together, students' learning is more efficient and effective, the teachers' work is easier and we say that the course is well 'aligned'.
Are we ready to hear opposing ideas or thoughts from our students? Are we democratic in our teaching, thoughts, ideas, and actions or in our decisions? Are we ready to listen to student queries? I think these are some of the very important questions which we seriously need to ask ourselves as teachers.
Although it is sometimes very difficult for us to hear conflicting or opposing ideas or thoughts from our students, as a teacher I feel we must have good ears. In fact, I feel we should give our students a chance to think and challenge our ideas in order to facilitate their own thinking process.
I personally feel that the most important and beautiful thing is when students challenge our ideas, thoughts and philosophy on certain issues. It means that in fact we have engaged them successfully in active and effective learning, we are helping them in creativity and ultimately we are heading towards a student-centred classroom – it means we have actively engaged them in their learning.
Answering Students' Queries
MC Keache is right in saying that “every class gives us a new challenge." Questions help the instructor to get prompt feedback from the students on what they are learning. However, in my opinion it is both interesting and challenging when we encourage our students to ask questions in our classes. A good teacher encourages students to ask questions and this means that sometimes we can face some very thought-provoking questions.
A good question not only helps other students to clarify their understanding but it also helps to reinforce the content as well. Good questions sometimes open new research dimensions for the course instructor also. In my teaching career I have learnt a lot from my students in different ways. A good question in a class not only promotes critical thinking but also encourages research among students. We teachers also learn from students' questions as this forces us to re-learn.