What a wonderful teaching skill! It was un-prepared and unplanned way to introduce peer teaching in the classroom. Main subject teacher was absent from school and substitution period had arranged for them. I got an idea to discuss the 2nd last chapter “The Environment” of class 10th student.  Science teacher has left 2 last chapters in Biology. It is high time for 10 class students because of board examination. Suddenly we decided to use substitution period for teaching learning activities through “Peer teaching”.

Student as a keen observer

Students are keen observer. They minutely watch their teacher’s teaching style and teaching techniques. When they get wonderful opportunity to teach their classmates; they use best possible ways to make each one understand his points.

Peer teaching: – a sense of freedom from controlled person to controlling a person

Sometimes students feel frustrated under same roof and learning from a single teacher. They have aggression that someone is controlling us. A sense of control increases aggression inside a person. Peer teaching is golden opportunity to make them feel a sense of freedom and a sense of accountability for learning. When a student becomes a teacher in the same class, s/he feels pride and tries his/her best to contribute and to share his/her knowledge with classmates.

Creating learner friendly environment and a sense of autonomy

Since it was unplanned way to introduce peer teaching, suddenly I shared my objective with them. We wanted to create a student learning friendly environment in the classroom through student teacher. We asked them to teach the lesson ‘The Environment’. We asked them to lead the teaching cum discussion as they want to lead it. We asked them to do following things:-

  1. Feel that “you are the ring master”, lead the class as you wish to lead
  2. Feel free to adopt any teaching techniques
  3. Feel free to conduct any activity
  4. Feel free to use any relevant examples to support your point
  5. Feel free to use the technique which  you think, “ you can”
  6. Feel free to use the digital board/green board for leading discussion and describing key points
  7. We will use the word “learn” so no student teacher will say “ I taught you instead the statement will be “ we have learnt this”
  8. We will not deviate from the topic instead we will support our classmate and lead the discussion to the next level. If student teacher trapped somewhere, we will help him saying like this, “ could be say like this/ this can be also interpretation of this statement”

Wonder to see the wonderful teaching by the student!

Student used “brainstorming techniques” to initiate the learning in the class. Student teacher used all teaching styles to make “learning” easy. When a student teacher touched the topic of “aquarium”, she asked her classmate (a) have you ever seen an aquarium. (b) Could you draw a diagram of an aquarium? (c) Could you describe your diagram?

Student teacher used “questioning technique” to make other classmates learning easy. She asked various questions related to key points in the lesson. Ms. Laxmi was very confident during teaching and asked her classmates (a) do you have any problems (b) can I give more examples to support it?

Learning is transmittable-learn by doing- learn by watching

Learning can be transfer from one person to another person; if a one person watches benefit in learning something then other person learns or at least tries to learn it from 1st person. Sense of benefits in doing something leads him to do so. We are human and we imitate others very fast. Only we need to create a learner’s learning friendly environment, where I can feel safe and secure even in an unfavorable situation and I can get mental support even if I commit a mistake. I will get moral support to correct it. This confidence leads a learner to explore and experiment with new ideas and concepts.

Student teacher focused on difficult words and he tried to share accurate meaning of several words. It was very happy to notice that he asked his classmates to read a paragraph individually. Mr. Rohan (name changed) stated at the end of the class that he was feeling confident during the lesson and he thought that even he can do self study very well. Mr. Rohan is a little bit lazy in performing other task in the class but he felt his inner desire for doing self study by watching his friend as a teacher. He was feeling that he can also teach like his friend if he gets opportunity.

Every student was feeling self confident in the class. Mr. Gupta wrote his experience, “earlier I am not used to sit and read a lesson but today I felt like a learner boy. I really enjoyed it. He mentioned his learning lesson.

Opportunity for learner to develop intrapersonal and interpersonal skill

Student teacher provides an opportunity for learner to ask question without any hesitation. Several times, student does not ask questions in the class for various reasons i.e. low confidence, low self-esteem, may be facing fear from teacher etc. Mr. Virat Gupta wrote in post teaching learning session (a) I felt very well after reading because we were friendly (b) So whatever I could not understand, I just asked to my friend and he clarified my concept (c) Since my friend taught me, it was delightful experience for me.

Passing through an unknown world to known world of knowledge

Student teacher is a classic example of developing learning desire among students. Learner’s desire to learn helps us to promote quality teaching learning in the classroom. When they have burning desire to learn and to explore; they completely involve themselves in the learning process. Ms. Tannu shared her experience in a piece of paper. She wrote that when I got offer to teach Science to my classmates, I became very happy and decided to give the best whatever knowledge I am having. I was feeling very confident standing as a teacher and holding Science book in my hand. I enjoyed my teaching. When class was over, I realized that it was very fruitful class and it also helped us to become a confident learner. She further shared a wonderful experience that when her other classmates were teaching after her; she was thinking that she was also doing the same activity just before 10 minutes and probably they were passing through same dilemma what I felt in my turn of teaching.

Since it was unprepared and unplanned student teacher teaching learning activity, student’s were not even read the chapter before this class but developing a sense of support to each other made this task not only easy but have a wonderful experience of learning.

Give best learning outcome

When first student teacher started teaching, she was little hesitant, however she shared her objective, “we will discuss together about ‘The Environment’ and will try to learn different key points and key concept”.  It was clear at 1st stage of teaching that there is no teacher and student in the class. We will learn together therefore student teacher neither felt superior complex nor felt inferior complex during teaching learning session.  They were supporting each other i.e. giving one more synonyms, one more supportive reply etc. They were listening the student teacher curiously.

Educator can initiate ‘student teacher’ according to time allowed to complete the syllabus. A wise teacher promotes peer teaching now and then to boost up student confidence. This technique helps teacher to maintain discipline in the classroom. When a student becomes a teacher; s/he feels the pain of a teacher.

 Sensitize inbuilt nature of teacher in each and every individual  

Teacher can introduce peer teaching in a planned manner to develop different skills in students. I firmly believe that we are unique individuals.  It may not be exaggerated to say that we are first teacher than a learner or vice-versa. Generally we observe when we get time to teach someone we grab this opportunity.   Whether we know something or not but we share our knowledge eagerly and enthusiastically.

Peer teaching works like different types of sauce in fast food items or in readymade food. It makes teaching learning process interesting. Wise educator also feels happy sitting at the back bench of class and watching his/her student as teacher. So Let! Be the first to initiate the change!

Rajeev Ranjan

Indian Educationist

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