Teachers Exercise: Be the first in the classroom

One of the reasons why the quality and standard of Namibian education is not yet where it is supposed to be, is because our teachers are missing certain tools in their teaching-tool kits.

These tools are not taught at any teacher training institution in Namibia. They can only be acquired through experience, intuition and common sense. Dear teacher, these exercises will shift your paradigm of teaching, because they will help you to connect to your learners on a deeper level, and thus your pupils will engage more actively in the learning process. This is no theory. This is a practical advice, borne out of real classroom experience.

The last exercise concentrated on the significance of the Teacher's Bible. That precious document gives direction and vision to learners, teachers, principals, education officers, inspectors, directors and the minister herself. Understanding the idea behind that golden document is imperative for each and every teacher. Study the Teacher's Bible!

One of the greatest challenges we face as teachers is the maintenance of discipline in the classroom. I witnessed teachers who spend 60 per cent of their lessons scolding and shouting for order. My favourite part is always when a teacher shouts SILENCE! So, you want silence but you are the one who is shouting. I cannot find a better way to explain irony. Investing so much time on putting the pupils to order is absolute madness, because there will not be sufficient time to dive into the lesson content itself. We must understand that we loose the respect of our learners, the moment we become policeman in their eyes.

How can I maintain discipline in my class, without shouting and upsetting myself? The first strategy is to be the first in the classroom. Why? Because by you being the first, your learners will instantly feel that you are serious and they will automatically become serious, too. It may sound strange, but it really works. Do it and see for yourself.


Be in the classroom at least 15 minutes before your learners come in. During the 15 minutes, review the goals and objectives of that lesson. Imagine yourself standing in front of the class. There is always that one learner, who mastered the art of driving you crazy. Breathe slowly and deeply and see yourself remaining calm. Smile. Most importantly, greet learners at the door with a handshake and look them into their eyes. That way, you are telling them that you are in charge, without using words. Action speaks volumes.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia