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					     A Manual for the Training of New
         A Resource Guide for Schools and Teachers

                  Contributing Members:
               Regional Education Directorate Five
             Department of State for Education/SQAD
                   United States Peace Corps

                       Compiled May 2005
                       DRAFT COPY

This manual is the property of and should remain at:

                   (Write school or directorate name here)
                            Table Of Contents
    Topic                                                                         Page Number
1. Introduction ------------------------------------------------------------------------3
2. What Is My Role In The School As A Teacher? ---------------------------4-8
    2.1.  Performing To Expectations (Attendance and Code
          Of Conduct) ----------------------------------------------------------------4-5
    2.2.  Dressing Professionally --------------------------------------------------5
    2.3.  Looking For Help From Colleagues ------------------------------------6
    2.4.  Acting As Teacher On Duty ---------------------------------------------6
    2.5.  Maintaining A Positive Relationship With Colleagues --------------6
    2.6.  Understanding The Gambia‟s Policy on Sexual Harassment
          and Misconduct ------------------------------------------------------------7
    2.7   Reviewing Teacher Expectations ---------------------------------------8
3. What Is My Role In The Classroom As A Teacher? ----------------------9-23
    3.1   Keeping A Daily Register------------------------------------------------9-11
    3.2   Using A Syllabus ----------------------------------------------------------12
    3.3   Attaining Learning Achievement Targets -----------------------------13
    3.4   Preparing Schemes Of Work --------------------------------------------13
    3.5   Preparing Lesson Notes --------------------------------------------------14-15
    3.6   Using Teaching And Learning Aids ------------------------------------15-16
    3.7   Gaining Respect From Your Students ---------------------------------16
    3.8   Managing Your Classroom/Disciplining Students -------------------17-19
    3.9   Recognising Students‟ Learning Styles --------------------------------19
    3.10 Keeping Students Involved And Active -------------------------------19-20
    3.11 Evaluating Student Performance ----------------------------------------20-21
    3.12 Teaching English In The Classroom -----------------------------------21-22
    3.13 Working With Female Students -----------------------------------------22
    3.14 Monitoring Student Welfare ---------------------------------------------23
    3.15 Assessing Your Own Work ----------------------------------------------23
4. What Is My Role In The Community As A Teacher? --------------------24-25
    4.1   Communicating With Parents And Community Members ----------24
    4.2   Maintaining Respect In The Town/Village (Dress/Behaviour) ----24
    4.3   Keeping Professional Relationships With Students ------------------25
    4.4   Participating In Community Activities And Events------------------25
    4.5   Building School/Community Links ------------------------------------25
5. What Challenges Might I Face As A New Teacher? -----------------------26-27
    5.1   Changing Education Techniques In The Gambia ---------------------26
    5.2   Teaching Students With Special Needs---------------------------------26-27
    5.3   Teaching With Limited Resources --------------------------------------27
    5.4   Coping With Living In Remote Areas ----------------------------------27
6. What Should I Know About the Regional Education Directorate
    (RED) and the Department Of State For Education (DoSE)? ----------28-29
    6.1   Interacting With The Regional Education Directorate---------------28
    6.2   Understanding the Appointment and Payment Processes ------------29
7. The Way Forward/Becoming A Qualified Teacher -----------------------30
8. Vocabulary List -------------------------------------------------------------------31
9. Comprehension Questions for New Teachers ------------------------------32
10. Suggested Activity Ideas for Trainers ----------------------------------------33
                                  1. Introduction
This manual was created to facilitate the training of newly appointed Teachers. Ideally,
newly appointed Teachers would have mandatory inservice training before entering the
classroom. It is realised that resources are often not available to hold such training. We
hope that this manual will give new Teachers a short introduction to teaching before they
enter the classroom.

The manual can be used in many different ways by numerous Departments within the
education system. If possible, the information should be shared in a small workshop at
regional level or in a one-on-one meeting with the newly appointed Teacher and a
Regional Education Directorate officer. If this is not possible, Heads of schools or
Regional Training Team members should frequently hold school-based or cluster-based
workshops with Teachers newly appointed to schools. This manual can also be used as
part of the Teacher training courses at the Gambia College and as a reference material for
new and experienced Teachers alike.

All Regional Education Directorate Officers and Heads of schools must be aware of, and
assist in enforcing, all policies captured in this manual.

Regional Training Officers, SQAD Officers and members of Regional Training Teams
hold primary responsibility for the support and implementation of this manual.

It is necessary to congratulate newly appointed Teachers on entering the teaching
profession and becoming a civil servant in The Gambia. We are happy that you have
chosen to become a Teacher and assist us in educating the children of The Gambia. It is
the aspiration of the Gambia Government to realise the goals captured in Vision 2020.
Teachers will play an important role in achieving these goals. Vision 2020 goals include:

       “…to transform The Gambia into a financial centre, a tourist paradise, a
       trading, export-oriented, agricultural and manufacturing nation, thriving on
       free market policies and a vibrant private sector, sustained by a well-educated,
       trained, skilled, healthy, self-reliant and enterprising population, and
       guaranteeing a well-balanced eco-system and a decent standard of living for
       one and all, under a system of government based on the consent of the

Teaching is one of the most difficult professions in the world. It is said that without
Teachers, we would not have doctors, lawyers, or businessmen. We hope that you treat
your new position with seriousness and respect. It is you who will help to form the minds
of The Gambia‟s future leaders.

          “The main hope of a nation lies in the proper education of its youth.”
                                           -   Erasmus

  *** Please note that all words marked LIKE THIS are defined on the
                    Vocabulary List on page 31 ***

     2. What Is My Role In The School As A Teacher?
There are many expectations that Head Teachers, students and community members have
of the Teachers at their schools. A Teacher is someone who serves as a role model while
educating students in the required subject areas. It is important that a Teacher has
positive relationships with co-workers and uses them as valuable resources. A Teacher‟s
role is to gain the respect of his or her students and assist them in gaining the knowledge
needed to be a successful citizen of the country.

“Setting an example is not the main means of influencing another, it is the only means.”
                                    - Albert Einstein

         2.1 Performing To Expectations (Attendance and Code of Conduct)

Teacher attendance is key to providing students a high-quality learning environment.
Consistent and punctual attendance is an expectation for all Teachers. In The
Gambia, we strive to give each of our students 880 hours of direct contact with their
Teacher each year. To achieve this goal, it is necessary that Teachers take attendance
very seriously. Each time a Teacher is late or absent from school, his or her students are
losing direct contact hours. In order for students to master their subjects, they must be
given enough time to learn them properly. Teachers are here to educate the future leaders
of our country; it is impossible to do this if the Teacher does not report to class regularly
and on time.

Another expectation of Teachers is that they will follow The Gambia Government‟s Code
of Conduct. Some things in the Code of Conduct include:

          “The first duty of a civil servant is to give his undivided attention to rendering
           the service for which he is employed at all times when that service has a claim
           upon him.” [This means that during working hours, you should put your full
           attention on teaching. Personal matters should not be dealt with at the
          “A civil servant should not…”
               -     “…place himself in a position where he is under obligation to give
                     special consideration or favour to any person” [This means that
                     everything in the school should be done fairly, and preference should
                     not be given to anyone.]
               -     “…engage in any outside work or undertaking that interferes with
                     the performance of his duties as a civil servant or which misuses the
                     information acquired in the course of his official duties” [This
                     means that any campaign or project that interferes with your work
                     cannot be participated in, i.e. Measles immunisation campaign.]
               -     “…do anything which places his personal interest above the public
                     interest” [This means that your personal gain or interest should
                     never come before that of the students, school or parents.]

The Code of Conduct for Heads of Schools and Teachers includes these important

         “Except in the case of an emergency, all absence should be written and sought
          for a day in advance. In all cases the permission of the Head should first be
          obtained before the Teacher absents herself or himself from the school.”
         “Staff shall not engage in private and personal conversation during classes
          when she/he is expected to teach or supervise children at work or play.” [This
          includes mobile phone calls, except in the case of emergency.]
         “No staff shall smoke in the school premises during school hours or ask
          students to purchase cigarettes for them.”
         “No staff member shall indulge in sexual/immoral relations with pupils or
          students in any school, including tertiary institutions. Such action will result
          in a very tough disciplinary action against him/her.”
         [Although it is not directly stated in the Code of Conduct for Heads of Schools
          and Teachers, please note that no student shall be sent on errands, especially
          outside of the school premises, while sessions are on.]

                             2.2 Dressing Professionally

Teachers and Heads, in order to maintain respect and authority in the school and the
community, must dress appropriately for school. Students are required to wear clean
uniforms to school and be well kept. Teachers, also, should maintain a school “uniform”
and dress appropriately. School is not the place to display new fashions. Teachers
should dress professionally at all times. Schools are encouraged to have a meeting with
students, parents, and Teachers to discuss and create school rules and dress codes for
Teachers as well as students. This is a general guideline for dress at school:

Appropriate Dress:                            Inappropriate Dress:
    Clean and tidy clothing                      Dirty or torn clothing
    Long trousers and long                       Short trousers or short
      dresses/skirts                                 dresses/skirts
    Hair ties and traditional men‟s hats         Caps, hats, or visors
    Canvas or leather shoes or sandals           Slippers
    Shirts with buttons and/or plain t-          T-shirts with slogans or displaying
      shirts                                         musicians or sports figures
    Modest amounts of jewelry, either            Too much jewelry (big chains on
      traditional or Western                         men)
    Simple jeans (without design)                Jeans with designs
    Conservative clothing (loose                 Provocative clothing (revealing
      fitting)                                       items, deep neck lines, transparent

                        2.3 Looking For Help From Colleagues

Teachers and Heads must work together for the betterment of the school and the students.
As new Teachers, it is important that you realise that your colleagues may have more
experience than you and can help you overcome challenges that you might face. If you
know that a Teacher at your school specialises in a specific subject area, do not feel shy
to ask him or her to help you plan a lesson for your students. If you admire another
Teacher‟s knowledge or teaching style, ask if you can observe his or her classroom. If
your colleague specialises in Agricultural Science, for example, it might be helpful to
have that Teacher come and teach your students about water use or farming.

                            2.4 Acting As Teacher On Duty

One of the responsibilities that you will be asked to carry out is the job of “Teacher on
Duty.” Teacher on Duty has a different meaning at each school. You must be sure that
you have a clear understanding of the Teacher on Duty‟s role at your school. Usually,
the Teacher on Duty takes care of discipline and assembly matters. This duty assignment
usually lasts for an entire school week. Other Teachers usually assist the Teacher on
duty. You also are expected assist other Teachers in their duties. Liase with your
Headmaster to understand the duties assigned to you as Teacher on Duty.

              2.5 Maintaining A Positive Relationship With Colleagues

In order for a school to run smoothly, there must be a cordial, positive relationship
between all Teachers and staff. Teachers must work together as a team. You should
never compete with your colleagues. You are all there for one reason: to help the

Teachers should always uphold and defend the name of any other Teacher outside of the
school [i.e. in the community]. No Teacher should entertain or participate in rumors or
stories being told about a colleague. Sometimes, this will mean putting your personal
opinions aside in order to make the right decision for the school. All Teachers are part of
the school team and if you insult a colleague, you are insulting the school as a whole.
Encourage community members to approach a Teacher directly and question them rather
than spread false stories about them.

Any concerns between Teachers should be discussed in a professional manner at a time
that is appropriate. Disagreements or arguments should never occur in front of students
or community members. Shouting, arguing, and fighting show poor examples of how to
solve problems. Try to resolve all conflicts at the school level before they escalate to a
regional concern. The Regional Education Directorate has a very full workload; there is
no time to resolve conflicts between quarreling Teachers.

It is also important to maintain a positive relationship with the Headteachers, Principals
and Senior Masters at the school. As these people hold positions of leadership, the
person and the position must be respected. All concerns should be brought to Heads of
schools directly before ever reaching regional level. Work with the Headmaster to
democratically solve issues and pave the most appropriate way forward.
  2.6 Understanding The Gambia’s Policy on Sexual Harassment and Misconduct

It is becoming more and more important that all Teachers are aware of policies on
student/Teacher relationships in schools. Under no circumstances is a Teacher to have
a romantic or sexual relationship with a student. In September 2004, the “Policy
Guidelines and Regulations on Sexual Misconduct and Harassment in Gambian
Educational Institutions” was published. A few important excerpts from the manual

       Sexual misconduct is defined as “any kind of sexual contact with students,
        whether both parties are consenting or not. This could be physical, verbal or
        non-verbal, and includes flirting, kissing and touching in a sexual way. Such
        misconduct also includes consensual sexual intercourse.” [This means that all
        forms of sexual interactions between a Teacher and a student are professional
        misconduct, even if the student agrees to participate or says “yes”.]
       Sexual harassment refers to “unwanted, non-consensual sexual behaviour,
        where one party is imposing sexual attention on another unwilling party. It
        includes physical, verbal and non-verbal harassment. All sexual advances of any
        kind that take place without consent, including cases where either party has been
        blackmailed, bribed or coerced into engaging in sexual behaviour, will be
        deemed as sexual harassment.” [This means that any advances towards a student
        are not allowed including whistling, touching, flirting, pinching, insulting,
        propositions, sexual requests or demands. Male Teachers should not touch
        female students. Female Teachers should not touch male students.]
       The Department of State for Education maintains that:
               No form of sexual contact shall take place between a student in the
               school system and any other person, be they another student, Teacher,
               member of staff or a member of the public from outside the
               educational system, whether or not this is consensual. Where it does
               take place it will be deemed as sexual misconduct.
         [This means that no student in the school system should have sexual
         relationships or contact with any other person.]
        Gambian Law states that it is unlawful to have sexual relations with any young
         girl under the age of 16. Breaking this law can result in a criminal charge. As a
         Teacher, you are expected to help uphold this law by reporting (with consent of
         the student‟s parents) any known cases of female students under the age of 16
         who are sexually active.

                       2.7 Reviewing Teacher Expectations

The “Alternative Discipline Manual” produced by a combination of stakeholders
(including DoSE, Peace Corps, and several Regional Education Offices) uses the
following table to outline Teacher expectations. The behaviours expected are based
mainly on the Code of Conduct for Teachers developed by DoSE. (Some additions have
been made to the table.)

RESPECT                           Teachers must respect the life and dignity of all
                                  human beings.
ROLE MODEL                        Teachers must act as positive role models. Teachers
                                  are models of:
                                      - How to treat others,
                                      - How to solve problems,
                                      - How to make good choices,
                                      - How to give and receive respect,
                                      - How to speak in public,
                                      - How to behave in a group and in society,
                                      - Respect for the law,
                                      - Hard work and dedication.
PROFESSIONALISM                   Teachers must demonstrate the following:
                                      - A mastery of subject matter
                                      - The ability to prepare lesson plans and notes
                                          before the teaching period
                                      - A willingness to further their education and
                                          update their teaching skills
                                      - The ability to encourage their students to
                                          develop self control
                                      - Fairness and equity regardless of sex,
                                          religion, or personal feelings
                                      - Appropriate dress
HONESTY                           Marks should be awarded to students on merit
                                  regardless of prevailing circumstances or personal
REINFORCEMENT                     Teachers should always reinforce good behaviour.
TEMPERAMENT                       Teachers must control their temper at all times.
                                  Teachers must not resort to physical violence when
SPEAKING IN THE                   Where English is the language of instruction, other
VERNACULAR                        languages should only be used for clarification

 3. What Is My Role In The Classroom As A Teacher?
A Teacher has many duties that must be fulfilled in the classroom. Teachers must be
well prepared, able to maintain discipline in the classroom, be attentive to students needs
and be willing to help struggling students.

        “A Teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”
                                     - Henry Adams

                       3.1 Keeping A Daily Attendance Register

The ATTENDANCE REGISTER must be filled out twice daily, both in the morning and after
break. [For afternoon shift classes, it must also be taken twice.] The attendance register
is a very important document. It helps you to record the number of times each student in
your class is present throughout the entire year and can be helpful in defending yourself
or a student in legal matters.

This is the suggested way to fill a register:
             Students‟ names should be written in capital letters in alphabetical order,
               by last name
             Boys and girls names should be written in different colored inks
             Present in the morning should be marked with a forward slash: \
             Present in the afternoon should be marked with a back slash: /
             Present for the entire day will then look like a “v”: \ /
             Absent should be marked with a circle: o
             Sick should be marked with an “s”: s
             Late should be marked with an “L”: L [can be marked in red ink, if you

 NOTE: A student who is late should be marked “present” in your weekly totals. Late is
not marked as absent in weekly totals.

      Here is a sample attendance register:

 Adm.        Date of Birth   Pupil‟s Name                              Roll           1st Week
  No.                                                                  No.      Beginning 20th– 24th Sept.
            D     M     Y                                                      M T W Th F
0052        01    10    94   BADJIE, ABDOU RAHMAN                      1       o / \ / L / L / L /
0013        11    05    93   BAH, MARIAMA                              2       \ s s s \ / \ / \ /
0042        06    22    92   BAH, SALIMATOU                            3       \ / \ / \ / \ / o o
0055        09    09    93   CEESAY, ADAM                              4       \ / \ / s s \ / \ /
0049        09    09    93   CEESAY, ADAMA                             5       \ / \ / s s \ / \ /

            By looking at this register, you will see that:

            - Abdou Rahman was present 9 times, absent 1 time and late 3 times
            - Mariama was present 7 times, sick 3 times
            - Salimatou was present 8 times, absent 2 times
            - Adam was present 8 times, sick 2 times
            - Adama was present 8 times, sick 2 times

                                    Closing the Register

At the end of each term, Teachers must close the register, or prepare the total attendance
for the term. In order to make the closing of the register easier, Teachers should total
weekly attendance every Friday at the end of the day’s sessions.

Closing the daily attendance simply means adding together the total number of students
present for the day.

For example, if you have 48 students in your class and 38 students are present on
Monday morning and 37 are present on Monday afternoon [one child was ill and went
home], you would fill your register like this:

                 The number present for the morning is 38
                 The number present for the afternoon is 37
                 Add 38 + 37 to get your total attendances for Monday (38+37=75)
                 48 students are enrolled in your class, so your “number on roll” is 48

                                                         1st Week
                                               M    T        W    Th       F

                    NUMBER (Morning)           38
                    PRESENT (Afternoon)        37
                    TOTAL ATTENDANCES          75
                    NUMBER ON ROLL             48

For the week, your register might look like this:

                                                         1st Week
                                             M      T       W     Th   F
                    NUMBER (Morning)         38     40     37    40    41
                    PRESENT (Afternoon)      37     40     37    40    41
                    TOTAL ATTENDANCES        75     80     74    80    82
                    NUMBER OF ROLL           48     48     48    48    48

At the end of the week, these numbers should be added together and entered into the
“Weekly Totals” column for Week 1.

Your Week 1 totals would be:

                                                     Weekly Totals
                                               1     2    3      4      5
                    NUMBER (Morning)          196
                    PRESENT (Afternoon)       195
                    TOTAL ATTENDANCES         391
                    NUMBER OF ROLL             48

To close the register at the end of the term, you must add together Weeks 1-15 of the
weekly totals columns for the entire term. You will mark these numbers in the box for
term totals:

 AVERAGE ATTENDANCE ………………………………………
 AVERAGE NO. ON REGISTER ………………………………….

    ATTENDANCE TERM TOTAL is where you record the total number of attendances
      for the term. (Add morning and afternoon totals for weeks 1-15)
    NUMBER OF MEETINGS is where you record the total number of classes held
      during the term
    AVERAGE ATTENDANCE is found by dividing the ATTENDANCE TERM
      TOTAL by the NUMBER OF STUDENTS IN THE CLASS. This will tell you –
      on average – how many meetings each student attended during the term.

        Average Attendance =      Attendance Term Total
                                 Total Number Of Students
    AVERAGE NO. ON REGISTER is where you record the average number of
      students that were in your class for the term. Add together your weekly totals for
      NUMBER ON ROLL and divide by the number of weeks in the term.

                                          3.2 Using A Syllabus

A SYLLABUS is a course outline or list of things that should be taught in a certain time
period. In summary, a syllabus is a list of things that a Teacher must teach. The
Department of State for Education is constantly revising and updating a syllabus for each
grade and subject being taught.

Upon arrival to your posting, ask your Head of School if he/she has the syllabus for the
grade and subject you have been assigned. If he or she has a copy of the syllabus, read it
closely. If no syllabus is available, inform the Head immediately so he or she can obtain
one. [When there is no syllabus, the next best thing is the Teachers‟ Guide for the
grade(s) and subject(s) you are covering. If you cannot find these materials, request that
your Head immediately request them from the Regional Education Directorate.]

A syllabus is there to guide you through the school year and to help you choose what
to teach in your classroom. It will be easier to plan your schemes of work and lesson
notes [see chapters 3.4 and 3.5] if you have a syllabus or Teacher‟s guide to help you.

While reading the syllabus, ask yourself these questions:
          o How am I going to help my students learn this?
          o What teaching method should I use to teach this topic?
          o What materials will I need to teach this?
          o Will I need any help teaching this to my students? (i.e. from community
              leaders or local experts)
          o When will I cover this in my classroom?

       Here is an example taken from the Draft Syllabus for Grade 3:

Unit     Content         Activities                             Skills             Learning Outcome
Parts    - Parts of a    - Collection, observation and          - Observation      Pupil:
of a      plant            identification of different types    - Identification   - Has demonstrated the
plant    - Functions       of root, stem, leaf, flower, fruit   - Drawing            ability to make observations
          of the parts     and seed. Comparison of the          - Writing            and record findings.
          of a plant       parts from different plants [e.g.    - Problem          - Has continued to develop the
                           size, shape, colour, number of          solving           ability to work co-operatively
                           leaves]. Draw and annotate           - Sorting into       with others.
                           specimens. Sort into groups.            groups          - Can recognise and name
                         - Pupils draw a plant and label its                         different types of root, stem,
                           parts.                                                    leaf, flower, fruit and seed.
                         - Question and answer session on                          - Can explain the functions of
                           the functions of the parts.                               plant parts.
                           [written exercise]

After reading this list of things that you must teach, you will have an idea of what should
be taught to Grade 3 students about the parts of a plant. After consulting the Learning
Achievement Targets [see following chapter] for Grade 3 Integrated Studies, you will be
ready to prepare a scheme of work and lesson notes in order to accomplish the goal of
teaching the parts of a plant to Grade 3 students.

                    3.3 Attaining Learning Achievement Targets (LAT’s)

The Department of State for Education is creating LEARNING ACHIEVEMENT TARGETS
(LAT’S) for each grade level in the basic cycle. Learning Achievement Targets are basic
goals or targets that all students should be able to achieve within a given school year.
This resource is very useful for Teachers. The LAT‟s tell you exactly what the students
must learn. Therefore, you will know exactly what you should teach. Teachers must
master all of the goals in the LAT‟s, as you cannot teach material that you have not
mastered. You must work to see that students achieve these targets during the school
year. Be sure to check with your Headmaster immediately upon posting to see if he or
she has the LAT‟s for your grade level. The LAT‟s should be used weekly to help plan
lessons and write lesson notes.

                                3.4 Preparing Schemes Of Work

In order to ensure that students learn the required information for their grade and subject,
Teachers must be very organised. SCHEMES OF WORK are tools used to help Teachers
organise lessons. Schemes of work help Teachers make long-term plans and goals for
their classes. They cover long periods of time (from one week to two months or more)
and broad subjects. The aims found in the scheme of work should be based on the
Learning Achievement Targets (LAT‟s) and objectives set forth by the Department of
State for Education. Many lesson notes [see following chapter] must be made to achieve
all of the goals in a scheme of work. Schemes of work should be prepared according
to the schedule of your school [i.e. weekly, fortnightly, monthly, etc.].

For example, a Grade 3 Teacher would describe the many different things that he/she
wants to cover in Integrated Studies about the parts of a plant over the next week. He/she
would include what the students will learn, but not how they will learn it.

       Here is a sample scheme of work used in covering the parts of a plant. It is based
        on the Draft Syllabus for Grade 3 Integrated Studies. [See Chapter 3.2]

 Period      Unit         Unit Aim    Work Plan      Reference         Materials      Evaluation     Remark
 /Week       Topic
 7th Feb.    Growing      Students    Students       Grade 3           3 plant        grade plants   (To be
    –        plants/      will be     will observe   syllabus,         species,       drawn in       filled in
 11th Feb.   parts of a   able to     plants, draw   Grade 3           seeds,         exercise       after the
             plant        recognise   a diagram in   Science text,     fruit,         books,         week has
                          and name    exercise       Growing           exercise       oral           ended.)
                          parts of    books and      Plants by         books,         questioning
                          the plant   plant seeds    Lawrence          pens, school   of plant
                                      in garden      Brown (from       garden bed     parts
                                                     school library)

                              3.5 Preparing Lesson Notes

Another tool used to help Teachers organise themselves is lesson notes. LESSON NOTES
describe in detail exactly what the Teacher will teach during a specific time on a specific
date. One lesson note should be prepared for each subject, everyday. Lower basic school
Teachers should prepare lesson notes for English, Science, SES and Maths everyday.
Upper basic school Teachers should prepare daily lesson notes for each different class
that they are teaching [i.e. one note for Grade 7 General Science and one note for Grade 8
General Science).

Before writing your lesson note, think seriously about the objectives of the lesson. To
make sure the objectives are met, ask these three questions:
       1. What do I want the students to be able to know or do at the end of the lesson?
       2. How can I show my students how to apply what they learn to their daily lives?
       3. How do I encourage my students to want to learn the lesson?

A lesson note must contain all of the following information:
        Date [On what date will you teach this lesson?]
        Time [At what time will you teach this lesson?]
        Class [What class is this lesson for?]
        Subject [What subject are you teaching – i.e. maths, science, English?]
        Topic [What topic are you teaching – i.e. shapes, simple machines, or verbs?]
        Materials [What things do you need to teach the lesson?]
        OBJECTIVE* [What should the pupils be able to do at the end of the lesson?]
        Activities [What things will the pupils do to learn the material?]
        Conclusion [How will you end the lesson?]
        Assessment [How will you check the students‟ understanding?]
        Remark [What went well in your lesson? What went wrong?]

               *Remember that an objective should be “SMART:”
                    S = short/specific
                    M = measurable
                    A = attainable
                    R = relevant
                    T = time bound

    Following is a sample lesson note used in covering the parts of a plant. It is based
     on the Draft Syllabus for Grade 3 Integrated Studies.

                       Lesson note for Grade 3 Science lesson

Date: 18th November, 2005
Time: 9:00-9:45a.m.
Class: 3 Circle
Subject: Integrated Studies
Topic: Growing Plants/Parts of a plant
Materials: Plants found in school compound, chalk, blackboard, vanguard of parts of
the plant [made by Teacher]
Objective: At the end of the lesson, students should be able to draw and label pictures
of a leaf, stem, root, flower, seed and fruit in English.
    - Introduction: Discussion/Question – “How many students have seen a plant
      before?” “How many of you know how we use plants?” “How many of you have
      ever eaten a food made with part of a plant?” “Today, we are going to learn the
      different parts of a plant.”
    - Activity 1: Students go out into the school compound in groups of 4 and pick
      one plant per group that will be taken back to the classroom and observed.
    - Activity 2: Students sit in groups and talk about the different parts of the
      plant that they can see. Students discuss how they have seen each of the parts
      being used.
    - Activity 3: Teacher discusses with whole class the different parts of the plant,
      while students remain in groups. Teacher shows examples of each.
    - Activity 4: Students are asked to draw the different parts of the plant in their
      exercise books, while in groups.
 Conclusion: Teacher reviews the parts of the plant by showing students different
parts and asking them to say what their name is in English.
Assessment: Teacher observes students during group work as informal assessment.
Remark: [The remark is filled out by the Teacher AFTER the lesson has been taught.]

                       3.6 Using Teaching And Learning Aids

TEACHING AND LEARNING AIDS are materials that are used while teaching a lesson. They
can be home-made, school-made, natural or manufactured. Teachers use aids in order to
make the learning and teaching process easy, effective and understandable. Despite
limited resources, classroom materials can be found everywhere. The most familiar and
accessible teaching and learning aids include visual and concrete objects. Teachers are
encouraged to prepare teaching and learning aids by using locally available resources
found in their immediate environments.

Designing, producing and using teaching aids in your classroom will have many benefits
     Enabling learners to have the opportunity to get into contact with real materials
     Allowing students to become independent learners
     Allowing Teachers to be supervisors rather than lecturers
     Helping to develop creativity, innovation and self-reliance in students
     Increasing the quality of education you are giving students

Some examples of teaching and learning aids to be used in the classroom include:
    bottle tops, sticks, and matchsticks to be used as counters
    plants, hammers, tin cans, fruits and vegetables can be used as models
    sugar, salt, batteries, solutions, seeds, etc. can be used in science experiments
    rice bags can be used as vanguards to draw maps and charts
    cartons can be cut up and used as vanguards to write letters, words, numbers or
      maths facts
    bamboo can be used to pin vanguards to your classroom wall

                       3.7 Gaining Respect From Your Students

The Teacher/student relationship is one of the most important things in your classroom.
A child who does not respect his or her Teacher often will not listen to him or her. If a
student is not listening, he or she is not learning. Therefore, a Teacher must work hard to
gain – and keep – the respect of his or her students.

It is necessary to understand the meaning of respect in order to gain it from students.
Respect can be defined as “politeness and honour shown towards someone or something
that is considered important.” An important thing to remember about respect is this:

           * Fear is not equal to respect and respect is not equal to fear. *

Many people think that if someone fears you, they respect you. This is not true. Fear is
“an unpleasant emotion or thought you have when you are frightened or worried by
something dangerous, painful, unpleasant or bad that is happening or might happen.” If
someone fears you, they will do as you say because they don‟t want to make you angry
or be punished. If someone respects you, they want do as you say because they honour
you. Fear creates a negative learning environment; respect creates a positive learning
environment. We want students to learn because they want to, not because they are

                  “The secret of education lies in respecting the pupil.”
                                 - Ralph Waldo Emerson

                3.8 Managing Your Classroom/Disciplining Students

Classroom management is one of the most important and most difficult jobs of a Teacher.
A Teacher can keep a stimulating teaching and learning environment by maintaining
discipline in the classroom. Many Teachers believe that discipline can only be
maintained through corporal punishment. This is because many Teachers do not know
any other ways to discipline students. If a school abolishes beating students and does
not apply any new discipline methods, it will be very hard to keep order in the
school because there is no discipline. For this reason, it is important to have
ALTERNATIVE DISCIPLINE METHODS, or ways of disciplining students without physically
harming them.

[It is important to note that Gambian law does not allow corporal punishment except two
strokes on the hands given only by the Head or deputy of the school. Any physical
punishment must be recorded in the school‟s punishment book. For these reasons, we
must all look for alternatives to corporal punishment.]

Using PREVENTIVE MEASURES in the classroom can prevent many disruptions.
Preventive measures are strategies that a Teacher uses to prevent problems from ever
happening. A positive classroom environment helps to prevent the need to discipline
students. Some preventive measures include:
         Make classroom rules and consequences with the students. If the students
           make the rules, they know when they are breaking them. Post the rules in the
           room and refer to them often.
              Example: “Binta, can you please read rule number one for me? Correct,
                          that rule says „Raise your hand to speak.‟ Did you raise your
                          hand to speak? This is your verbal warning.”

                          Sample classroom rules and consequences vanguard:
                              1.   Raise your hand to speak
                              2.   Remain quiet during study time
                              3.   Respect classmates
                              4.   Keep hands to self
                              5.   Respect others‟ property

                              1.   Verbal warning
                              2.   Move to another seat or place
                              3.   Serve a detention
                              4.   Sent to Headmaster‟s office
                              5.   Notify parents

          Inform parents, the PTA and the administration about classroom rules and
           expectations. Keeping close contact with the homes of learners helps
           Teachers keep discipline. If a student breaks a major rule, parents can be
           informed about the problem.
               Example: “Lamin and Ibrahim. Are you allowed to fight at school? You
                         know that you have broken a school rule. We will discuss this
                         with both of your parents after school.”

           Praise students for good behaviour.
               Example: “Modou, thank you for following rules and raising your hand.”
           Establish an environment where students respect self, others and the school.
               Example: “Sarjo, we are working in our exercise books and you are
                           talking. Are you respecting your classmates?”
           Teach students problem solving techniques. They must know that all actions
            have consequences. If they know how to solve a problem, it can avoid
            serious issues like fighting.
               Example: “Sainey, it looks like you are having a problem with Fatou.
                           Think about all of the different solutions to your problem.
                           Which one will have the best consequence for both of you?”

Even though preventive measures may be in place, there will still be times when a student
breaks a rule or misbehaves. That student must have a consequence for his/her
behaviour. There are many ALTERNATIVE DISCIPLINE METHODS that are being used
throughout The Gambia to replace beating. Alternative discipline methods are ways of
disciplining without using corporal punishment. Some examples include:

   To correct minor disruptions like talking out of turn or having unkempt hair,
   Teachers can:
        Make an example of a student who is doing the wanted behaviour. Other
          students will then correct their behaviour to get your positive attention.
          (Example: “Buba, you always come to school with your shirt tucked in. I
          wish that all students would dress properly like you do.”)
        Use “wait time.” If students are not listening, stop speaking, stand still and
          look at them until they are quiet. Some Teachers use a watch to time how
          long it takes the students to quiet down. After class is dismissed, the students
          then have to pay back that lost time in a detention to the Teacher.
        Stand near a student who is misbehaving. If a student is talking out of turn
          and you stand right next to him or her, he/she will probably feel nervous and
          stop talking.
        Throw a question to a student. If students aren‟t paying attention, involve
          them in the lesson by asking them questions. This will prompt them to pay
        Give verbal warnings. (Example: “If you speak out of turn again, you will
          have a detention after school.”)
        Make eye contact. If a student is misbehaving, look that student directly in
          the eyes. In most cases, the student will realize that he/she is doing
          something wrong.
        Ask a student to move seats. If a student is causing a disruption where he/she
          is seated, ask him or her to move to a different seat.
        Give time-outs or detentions. Make it known to students that if they waste
          your class time, they will have to pay that time back after school or during
          break time.

   To correct serious problems like fighting or absenteeism, Teachers can:
        Have the student write a letter of apology. Ask a student to apologise to the
          class, the school or the community for his or her misbehaviour.
           Withdraw a privilege or position of responsibility. (Example: If a student is
            always causing arguments and/or fights during break time, take break time
            away from that student and have the student spend break time in the
            Headmaster‟s office or another supervised area.)
           Make a behaviour agreement with the student. Make a written agreement
            with the student stating exactly what behaviour he/she will avoid. Include the
            consequence if he/she does that behaviour. The student, classroom Teacher,
            Headmaster and parent (optional) should sign the agreement.
           Suspend the student. Only in severe situations should a child be suspended
            from the school.

                      3.9 Recognising Students’ Learning Styles

Teachers must realise that not everyone learns in the same way. If you only teach in one
way (i.e. lecture), only some students will understand. It is important to do many
different activities in class that will help all students learn. It is also important to
remember learning styles when assessing students. Some students are poor writers and
will always fail a written exam. Those same students may be able to show you that they
know the information if given a different type of exam such as a drama presentation or a
practical exercise. The eight different types of learners are listed below:

                 Linguistic learners understand words and language best.
                 Logical learners understand numbers and reasoning best.
                        Spatial learners understand pictures best.
         Bodily-Kinesthetic learners understand action and body movement best.
                Musical learners understand song, music and rhyme best.
              Naturalistic learners understand the natural environment best.
           Interpersonal learners understand group work and cooperation best.
    Intrapersonal learners understand individual assignments and self-reflection best.

                     3.10 Keeping Students Involved And Active

Many different approaches are used in teaching and learning processes. New approaches
say that students‟ learning will be increased if they are involved in their own learning.
To get students involved and active, Teachers should organise ACTIVITY-BASED
LEARNING. Activity-based learning gets students to take ownership of their learning. We
want our students to understand ideas, not just memorise them. There are many ways to
get students involved in learning. Here are some examples of activity-based learning:
     Collection and use of objects showing shape, color and/or number
     Games that encourage mental calculation and fast thinking
     Arranging students in small groups where they can share ideas and questions with
     Quiz competitions between two groups in the class
     Problem-solving activities
     Making and using models
     Practical activities and experiments using apparatus, solutions and/or machines
     Sorting and grouping activities
      Visits, field trips and excursions
      Let the students do different activities: draw, talk, play, read, listen, act, observe,
       perform, demonstrate, watch, experiment, discover, test, examine, investigate,
       sing, etc.

*It is important to note that the Teacher should be busy outside the class in preparing
activities for the students to experience. While in class, the Teacher should be seen as a
supervisor of the assigned task, not a lecturer.*

                                  “What I hear, I forget.
                                 What I see, I remember.
                                 What I do, I understand.”
                                    Chinese Proverb

                         3.11 Evaluating Student Performance

EVALUATION of students‟ performance is required in every lesson. When you evaluate
something, you look at it closely to see what is working properly and what needs
improvement. We must evaluate our students to see what they understand and what they
don‟t understand. Evaluation helps us decide what needs to be reviewed or taught again
in the next lesson and improves the quality of our teaching. Evaluation is a valuable
tool that should not be compromised.

One requirement from DoSE is that 3 evaluations (exams or tests) be given each term at
the upper basic level. At the lower basic level, 2 evaluations are required per term.
However, every Teacher needs to take it upon him or herself to constantly monitor
students’ learning. Daily assessment helps the Teacher aim lessons at the exact level at
which students are learning.

The length and type of evaluation depends on the topic and grade level of the students.
Evaluation can be integrated into the lesson or done separately at the end of the lesson.
Examples of different types of evaluation include: written exams, essays, oral speeches,
questioning, drama presentation, drawings, or practical experiences. Evaluation must be
standardised in such a way that it truly reflects what the students have learned.
Memorisation of facts and figures does not show true knowledge. Create exams that will
show true knowledge.

Evaluation has several steps:

   1. Teacher decides on the method of evaluation. The way you evaluate the students
      has to apply to what you tried to teach them. What type of exam will best show if
      the students have achieved the objective: written, oral, practical?
   2. Evaluation is conducted. Be sure that all students have a fair chance. [i.e. If a
      student is suffering from malaria he/she may not perform well.]
   3. Exams are graded by the Teacher. Class prefects or any other person should not
      grade exams.
   4. Results are recorded in the Teacher’s “Exam Book.” Teachers must keep a
      record of all exam results in order to give proper grades at the end of the term.
      [Unfortunately, many Teachers are not currently keeping an exam book. Do not
      follow their example. All Teachers should keep an exam book.]
   5. Teacher gives written feedback of performance to the students. Students need to
      know how they did on the exam so that they can improve and/or ask for help on
      the areas where they failed.
   6. Review the exam and discuss correct answers. After students have seen their
      results, have a class discussion about the exam. If certain questions were missed
      by most students, explain what answer or result you were looking for and how
      they could have shown that to you. [You may need to review the subject if all
      students have poor exam results.]

                       3.7 Teaching English In The Classroom

Teaching students in a non-native language is very difficult. As most of our students are
not fluent in English, we must use certain strategies to help them learn. Remember that it
takes many years to master a new language. Some students will learn English quicker
than others. There are many “English as a Second Language” (ESL) techniques that can
be used in the classroom to help students learn English.

      Song and Rhyme: For young students, songs and poetry are a good way to start.
       Although they will not understand the meaning of the words at the start, they will
       learn the sounds of English. [Example: Sing, “Mother is pounding, mother is
       pounding, father is farming, father is farming, brother is playing, brother is
       playing, sister is dancing, sister is dancing” while both Teacher and students show
       the actions with their bodies.]
      Teacher Actions: Non-verbal communication sometimes speaks louder than
       verbal communication. Use actions while teaching. [Example: If you are
       speaking about lifting, lift something. If you are speaking about parallel lines,
       demonstrate parallel lines with your arms.]
      Concrete Objects: Bring in real, concrete objects when teaching a new word or
       idea. [Example: When talking about levers, bring a lever into the classroom.]
      Emphasise New Words: When using a new vocabulary word, emphasise that
       word for the first 3 or 4 days that you use the word. [Example: When we are
       measuring per-i-me-ter, there are a few steps we must take.]
      Repeat: Repeat new words often. Have the students repeat the word after you.
       [Example: This shape is a rectangle. Can you all say rec-tan-gle? Ebrima, can
       you say rectangle? Great. Salimatou, can you say rectangle? Very good.”]
      Reword: Use similar words to explain what you mean. [Example: “When you
       are exhilarated, you are happy or excited or overjoyed.”]
      Rephrase: Rephrase in a different way what you are trying to say. [Example:
       Desertification is affecting West Africa daily. Desertification is when the desert
       keeps growing and growing and takes over areas that used to have a lot of green
       vegetation. Wet areas become dry deserts.]
      Vocabulary Charts: Use a vanguard or rice bag and felt pen to record important
       words for each subject. Make a small drawing that relates to the word. Refer to
       the chart every time you use the new word. [Example: “Next, the food enters the
       intestines. Remember that intestines was one of our vocabulary words. Who
       remembers where the intestines are? What do the intestines do in our bodies?”
      Wait: Students often need time to translate in their minds what you said into
       their first language. When you ask a question or use a new word, wait in silence
       for a few seconds so that children can translate and make sense of what you are
       saying. The students who always answer first usually have the best understanding
       of English. Allow the other students time to think and translate in their minds
       before calling on a student to answer a question.
      Vocabulary Cards: Cut cartons into 15 cm. squares and write new words on
       them in ink or with a felt pen. Everyday, show the cards one-by-one to the
       students and review their meanings. [Example: Flash the card with the word
       “dissolve” on it. Ask the students, “Who can say this science word?” Then ask,
       “Who can tell us what this word means?”]

                         3.13 Working With Female Students

Working with female students requires special attention. Keys to working with female
students include patience, flexibility, and encouragement. Teachers must work together
to encourage female students to stay in school and avoid pregnancy and early marriage.

These ideas and strategies must be remembered when working with female students:
    Female students are often shyer than boys and may need extra encouragement.
    Encourage girls to answer questions and speak up in class. Do not allow the girls
       in your classroom to sit silently day after day. Encourage them to speak out. [i.e.
       “I am only hearing from the boys today. Can I hear from two girls, please?”]
    Ask boys to allow their female classmates time to answer questions.
    Give girls advance notice that you will call on them. This lowers their fear of
       being called on. [i.e. “Mohammed will answer this question. Bintou, you will
       answer the next question.”]
    If a student gives an incorrect answer, encourage them to try again or to check in
       their exercise book. Saying something negative to them [i.e. “You are stupid.”]
       will discourage them from answering again.
    Create a positive classroom environment where students encourage one another.
       Do not allow comments such as “You don‟t know anything.” Encourage students
       to help one another rather than laugh at those who don‟t understand.
    Occasionally separate boys from girls when working in small groups. This allows
       girls time to speak openly without the pressure of performing in front of boys.
    Find ways to make good examples of female students and community members.
       If they feel successful, they will enjoy school and be less likely to dropout.
    Encourage girls to be serious about learning. Help them to understand that they
       have an opportunity to learn that many of their mothers never had.
    Male Teachers must be reminded that female students should never be flirted
       with, touched or harassed in any way.

Some schools, especially Girl-Friendly Schools, are now identifying a female Teacher to
serve as a female Counselor. The counselor talks with girls, advises them, and helps
them solve problems. Female Teachers are encouraged to ask Heads of schools to be
counselors if they feel they have good listening skills and can help female students solve

                          3.14 Monitoring Student Welfare

Every Teacher should monitor the welfare of his or her students both in and out of
school. As a Teacher, you know your students and their personal lives better than most
other community members. Because of this, you should help to make sure that all of
your students are healthy and safe. Monitoring student welfare includes observing,
examining, investigating and assessing students both at school and on HOME VISITS. Any
serious problems discovered should be reported to the relevant authorities for action.

If a student is having a serious problem, a Teacher should help in solving the problem.
Some ways to assist students in need is by way of guiding and counselling them, listening
to their concerns, sympathizing, empathising, helping them to manage their time, and
supporting them to make the right decision.

Some schools elect one Teacher to serve as the guidance counsellor for all student
welfare issues. The counsellor must be a good listener, a good problem solver, and have
ideas similar to the norms of the local community. The monitoring of schoolgirls should
be assigned to a female Teacher while boys are to be monitored by a male Teacher. Note
that not all Teachers are good counsellors. [i.e. Simply because someone is a female
does not mean that she is a good female role mode.]

Take note that monitoring student welfare can come with some implications. Sometimes,
communities do not agree with the counselling and/or support that a child receives at
school. Try to involve parents and help them see the value of a counselling. Help them
to understand that you are there to help their child.

                           3.15 Assessing Your Own Work

As professionals, Teachers need to take time to ASSESS themselves. At the end of the
school day, take time to look back on the lessons taught and think about how the lessons
went. Assessing your work will help you avoid making the same mistakes twice and will
help you improve your teaching. You should ask yourself these questions daily:

      Did the students learn the objectives? Why or why not?
      Did I complete all of the activities I had planned? Were they successful?
      Do I have to re-teach any of these objectives tomorrow?
      How can I change my teaching style so the students understand?
      Were there any interruptions that changed my planned lessons?
      Did I make any mistakes? How can I prevent them from happening again?
      Did I use activity-based learning? Did I use teaching and learning aids?
      Did I remember to keep student learning styles in mind during my lesson?
      Did I maintain discipline in the classroom?

The answers to some of these questions can be recorded in the “remarks” column of your
lesson notes and schemes of work. [Although it is not required.]

 4.      What Is My Role In The Community As A Teacher?
As a Teacher, your role is to educate community members about the school and the
activities going on at the school. Generally, Teachers are respected at the community
level and must work to maintain that respect.

       “Others will follow your footsteps easier than they will follow your advice.”
                                     - A.H. Glasgor

            4.1 Communicating With Parents And Community Members

In The Gambia, communication between Teachers and community members is needed to
keep enrolment and support for public schooling growing. There are several situations in
which a Teacher should contact parents on a HOME VISIT. Teachers might visit a
student‟s home for some of the following reasons:
               To inform parents of consistent tardiness or absence of their child
               To check on a student who is known to be ill
               To compliment parents on good behaviour/performance of their child
               To discuss discipline or behaviour problems of their child
               To educate parents on the importance of education
               To encourage parents to send all of their children to school

In order to avoid a misunderstanding in the community, it is a good idea to ask a fellow
Teacher or the Head Teacher to accompany you on a home visit. If two Teachers visit a
student‟s home, it is clear that they are on a school mission, not a personal mission.

*Students who know that their Teacher is in contact with their parents tend to be better
behaved than students who know that parents will not know how they behave at school.*

          4.2 Maintaining Respect In The Town/Village (Dress/Behaviour)

It is important to remember that – as a Teacher – people are always watching you and
your behaviour. You are a role model, and should try to act as a good role model
whenever you are in public, even after school hours. When you arrive at your school,
pay attention to how the community members dress. If you notice that their style of dress
and is very different than yours, you will need to change the way you dress.

Dress is especially important for female Teachers. Realise that some upcountry villages
are not used to seeing women in trousers or tight clothing. Some villagers will find this
type of clothing inappropriate and will lose respect for you. Some parents do not want to
send their girlchild to school for fear that they, too, will begin to dress in Western-style
clothes. Be considerate to community members and try to dress as is traditionally
accepted in your area.

A Teacher‟s behaviour (even after school hours) is always being observed. Your
behaviour outside of the school affects you professionally. Community members see you
as a role model for their children and notice when you are smoking, drinking alcohol or
fighting. Avoid setting a bad example in your community.

                4.3 Keeping Professional Relationships With Students

In order to help students recognise the professional Teacher/student relationship, you
must always keep a “professional line” between you and your students. Do not to be too
friendly with students outside of school, as you will be forced to discipline the same
children the following day. Out-of-school contact with students should be limited to
educational experiences. Under no circumstance should a female student enter a
male Teacher’s room by herself nor should a male student enter a female Teacher’s
room by himself. This looks very unprofessional to community members.

                       4.4 Participating In Community Events

Parents like to know the person who is teaching and disciplining their children everyday.
One way to keep home/school communication open is to attend community events.
Parents will see that you are integrating into the community and will show you more
respect. When attending these events, remember to behave and dress as a role model.

                        4.5 Building School/Community Links

Many schools in The Gambia are under-resourced. One way to close the gaps is to get
parents involved in the school. If parents feel ownership over a school, they will be more
willing to assist in building a school fence or helping with a school project. There are
many ways to get parents involved in schools. Here are a few examples:

      P.T.A.: All schools should have a PTA. The PTA is a school governing group
       that helps in making rules and decisions for the school. The PTA helps to spread
       the workload and responsibility of the Headmaster throughout the community.
       Parents and Teachers should be involved in the PTA.
      Open House: Schools can hold an “Open House” where parents are invited to the
       school to see what goes on at the school and to meet their children‟s Teachers.
       An open house is informal and is different from a community meeting. Teachers
       should have a short talk with parents to show them what is being taught in the
       class. Students can lead their parents on a tour of the school. An Open House
       allows parents to feel welcomed at the school.
      Parent/Child Projects: Schools can arrange games/competitions for parents and
       children to work on together. This brings parents closer to the school and shows
       the child that their parent cares about their schooling. Some examples include:
           - Father/Son Car Competition: Encourage fathers and their sons to see who
             can build the best toy vehicle out of local materials. One evening, call all
             who wish to participate to the school. There, they will have a showing and
             judging of the cars. They can be judged on speed, beauty or creativity.
           - Mother/Daughter Appearance Show: Mothers and daughters could have a
             “show” with different hairstyles, cultural dress, or Western dress. One
             evening, call all who wish to participate to the school. There, they will have
             a showing and judging of their appearance or style.

5.       What Challenges Might I Face As A New Teacher?
Teaching is not an easy profession. Although most days will be problem-free, there will
be some days when you come across a problem or challenge.

                  5.1 Changing Education Techniques In The Gambia

There are always new ideas and techniques being tried out in the education sector. The
Gambia is experiencing a lot of changes in the educational system. The system today is
geared towards more practical education than it was in the past. There are a few main
areas where education in The Gambia is changing:

        Teaching Strategy.
                 Then, Teachers did what we call “chalk and talk.” Learning focused on
                 memorisation and drilling.
                 Now, Teachers organise activity-based lessons. Teaching and learning
                 aids are used to help students learn.
        Classroom Arrangement.
                 Then, students were seated in rows with the Teacher always at the front to
                 ensure order and discipline.
                 Now, Teachers walk throughout the classroom to monitor students.
                 Students are seated according to the task at hand, sometimes in rows, other
                 times in groups or clusters.
        Issues Taught.
                 Then, topics such as gender issues and sexual behaviour were not
                 Now, POP/FLE covers issues related to gender, family planning and
                 contraceptives. Presence of HIV/AIDS in The Gambia requires us to
                 discuss ways of transmission and prevention with our students.
        Community/Parent Involvement.
                 Then, the school and the community were seen as separate entities.
                 Now, we see the school as part of the larger community. Schools are
                 starting PTA‟s and parents are taking ownership over schools. This is
                 helping enrolment and interest at the community level.

                       5.2 Teaching Students With Special Needs

The Gambia is currently working to include all SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS in public
schools throughout the nation. Special needs students include students who have
difficulty hearing (deaf), speaking (mute), seeing (blind), and/or learning (retarded or
slow) as well as any other child that needs special attention due to physical or emotional
challenges. The inclusion of these students in public schools is called MAINSTREAMING.
Previously, educational opportunities for these students were limited to the Greater
Banjul Area. The Department of State for Education has created a unit committed
specifically to children with special needs.

Students with special needs will need extra help in your class. If you have a student with
special needs, notify the Regional Education Directorate so that added support or training
can be requested from DoSE.

Some useful teaching strategies to use with special needs students include:
    Pair special needs students with more capable students to complete activities and
      assignments together.
    Give special attention and time to special needs students.
    Alter assignments to make them appropriate for special needs students. [i.e. If the
      class has an assignment of 10 math facts, allow the him/her to work on only 4.]
    Always have teaching and learning aids available for the special needs students.
      [i.e. Allow him/her to use bottle top counters for simple addition while other
      students are working on memorisation of facts.]
    Create a seating arrangement that will place special needs students near the
      Teacher and/or near a helpful classmate.
    Encourage and reward special needs students often.
    Give additional time for special needs students to complete tasks.
    Create an atmosphere where students respect each others pace and level of
      learning. [i.e. Do not allow students to ridicule one another.]

                        5.3 Teaching With Limited Resources

Teaching with limited resources is not easy but it is important that we try our hardest to
work with what we have. DoSE, RED officials and Headmasters realise that you may not
have all of the materials that you need but that is no reason to give up. You must work to
create useful teaching and learning aids in the classroom with what is available. You
must use whatever textbooks or Teachers‟ guides that are available. If they are not
available, you must improvise and find another way to help students learn. Do not make
your students suffer because resources are not on hand. Every Teacher has the ability to
improvise; it is up to you to take initiative and be creative with the resources available.

                         5.4 Coping To Live In Remote Areas

As civil servants, you can be posted to any school throughout the nation. You are hired
to serve the nation, not a certain town or village. Some of you will be posted to very
small villages, far away from the highway. Although it is difficult to adjust to village
life, try to cope with the conditions. The government is working hard to provide hardship
allowances for Teachers working in upcountry regions and in remote villages.
Remember that working in the village now will show Headmasters and Directors your
willingness to serve the nation and may help you to gain consideration for possible
transfer in the future.

As a Teacher in a small village, you have an important job. Children from remote areas
often need the most help in the classroom. Many students in these areas are coming from
illiterate families and need extra time and help learning to read and write. Some students
have not had the experiences that you grew up with. Enlighten these students about their
own communities as well as other communities throughout The Gambia.
        6. What Should I Know About the Regional
        Education Directorate (RED) and the Department
                of State For Education (DoSE)?
As a Teacher, you will be directly supervised by the Regional Education Directorate
(RED) in your region. The RED is supervised by the Department of State for Education
(DoSE). At times, you will be in contact with these offices. Certain protocol should be
followed and observed.

                6.1 Interacting With The Regional Education Directorate

The Regional Education Directorate (RED) serves as a mediating institution between the
schools at the ground level and the Department of State for Education. The RED is
responsible for all educational programmes, projects and policies in the region. Posting
and transfer of Teachers, recruitment of unqualified Teachers, opening and upgrading of
schools, needs assessment programs, and resolving conflicts are the main tasks assigned
to the RED.

Regional Educational Directorates allow problems and issues to be dealt with promptly
and according to regional concerns. Any matter that is beyond regional concern will be
directed to the appropriate DoSE Directorate. All concerns should first be brought to a
Senior Teacher or Headmaster before reaching regional level, except in the following
case, as stated in The Code of Conduct of The Gambia Civil Service:

        “Any person employed in the civil service is the servant of the State and not of an
        individual superior. He however, owes a duty to the latter in the proper carrying out of
        all legal orders. If for any reason, a civil servant feels it necessary, because of his [or her]
        conscience, to question orders from a superior, he should, if possible, first express his
        concern to him before seeking guidance from higher authorities through established

Due to the large number of concerns at the regional level, it is necessary that proper
protocol be followed when visiting the Regional Education Directorate. Any concern or
mail must first be brought to the Records Clerk. The Records Clerk will direct you or
your mail to the appropriate acting officer for your particular case. It is not uncommon
for officers to be out of the office on trek or other official duties. If this is the case, you
will be asked to return to the office at a later date. Please note that it is not proper
protocol to go directly to the director with a concern. See the Records Clerk to be
directed to the appropriate officer. Regional Education Directorate staff cannot be held
responsible for concerns or mail that was not put through the proper channels.

            6.2 Understanding the Appointment and Payment Processes

New applicants for the position of unqualified Teacher must apply in writing to the
Regional Education Directorate. Photocopies of all certificates and/or testimonials
should be attached to the written application.

Unqualified Teacher contracts must be renewed annually. If you wish to continue
teaching in the next academic year, you must re-apply at the Regional Education
Directorate for a teaching post. Following a brief interview, an appointment can be
made. As at now, an appointment letter will be issued from DoSE and signed by the
applicant, marking the acceptance of the appointment as unqualified Teacher.

Salaries are paid on a monthly basis for the length of the academic year [i.e. September –
July, depending on the school calendar]. At the end of each month, the paymaster will
visit schools to disburse salaries, when possible. In the event that the paymaster does not
disburse your salary, you should report directly to the Regional Education Directorate.
Salary inquiries should only be directed to the Department of State for Education when
advised by the Regional Education Directorate.

       7. The Way Forward/Becoming A Qualified Teacher
As an unqualified Teacher, you are not eligible for certain government benefits such as
provincial allowances, house rent, confinement leave, pensioned salary, promotion and
higher training. Often, it is difficult for the voice of the unqualified Teacher to be heard.
The Department of State for Education encourages all unqualified Teachers to sit the
College Entrance Exam to become qualified Teachers and to enable you to better serve
the nation.

As a qualified Teacher, you will benefit from a more attractive salary and the option for
bank salary and savings accounts. Your voice will be heard through The Gambia
Teacher‟s Union and you will have opportunity to gain promotion on a regular basis.

The College Entrance Exam must be passed in order to gain entrance to Gambia College
for qualified Teacher training. The exam is given yearly and can be sat as many times as
needed. You may obtain registration forms at Gambia College, the WAEC office in
Banjul or the WAEC sub-office in Mansakonko. Upon completing the form and
attaching the necessary documents, the registration form and all fees must be returned to
the WAEC office in Banjul. The exam areas include English, Mathematics, and General
Paper (history, science, geography, current affairs, etc.).

Please Note: Many unqualified Teachers avoid sitting the exam due to the cost
burden. You must realise that this immediate burden can result in permanent
financial and professional benefit and stability. The College Entrance Exam must be
treated as a priority for all unqualified Teachers.

                           8. VOCABULARY LIST
ATTENDANCE REGISTER:       A tool used to record the number of times each student is
present throughout the entire year. Can be used to defend or incriminate a Teacher or
student in a legal matter. Registers must be filled twice daily.

SYLLABUS: A course outline or list of things stating what should be taught in a certain
time period. A guide listing everything that a Teacher must teach.

LEARNING ACHIEVEMENT TARGETS (LAT’S): A list of goals stating what children should
learn at each grade level. Should be used along with the syllabus to plan lessons.

SCHEMES OF WORK: Tools used to help organise lessons and make long-term plans and
goals. Cover long periods of time and broad subjects. Schemes of work should be done
by every Teacher for every subject, according to the work plan of the school.

LESSON NOTES: A tool used to help Teachers organise lesson activities. Describes in
detail exactly what the Teacher will teach. Should be prepared daily for each subject.

OBJECTIVE: The goal or aim of a lesson, captured in the lesson note. State exactly what
the students should be able to do, say, draw or write at the end of the lesson.

TEACHING AND LEARNING AIDS: Materials used while teaching a lesson. Usually made
by the Teacher and used in order to make the learning and teaching processes easier.

ALTERNATIVE DISCIPLINE METHODS: Ways of disciplining students without using
corporal punishment.

PREVENTIVE MEASURES:     Strategies that a Teacher uses to prevent problems from
happening in the classroom.

ACTIVITY-BASED LEARNING:     A teaching strategy that involves students in hands-on,
active learning. Helps students to understand concepts rather than memorise statements.

EVALUATION: To look closely at something to see what is working properly and what
needs improvement. Students‟ learning should be evaluated in every lesson.

ASSESS: Synonym to evaluate; to look at something closely for successes and failures.
As professionals, Teachers must assess their teaching style and daily achievements.

HOME VISIT:   A Teacher visit to a student‟s home. Usually made to check on an ill
student, discuss discipline problems or compliment parents for their child‟s performance.

SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS:     Children that need special attention due to physical or
emotional challenges. [i.e. deaf, retarded, blind and learning disabled children.]

MAINSTREAMING:     The inclusion of students with special needs into the regular,
conventional classroom setting.
       9. Comprehension Questions for New Teachers
The following questions are suggested ways to review the content of this manual. The
completion of the questions is not mandatory. The questions can be discussed in a group
or used as a written review. Participants can refer to the relevant chapters for reference.

   1. Briefly review the different books, manuals and guides that have been created to
      help you in lesson planning. State what they are used for and where they can be

   2. List or discuss ways that you plan to gain respect from your students.

   3. Prepare a sample lesson note for the grade you are teaching. You may choose any
      subject or topic.

   4. Review the eight different learning styles. Describe what type of learner you
      think you are. Explain why you think this.

   5. What chapter in the manual do you think is the most important? Why?

   6. Think of one more way (that is not found in the manual) that Teachers can
      involve parents at the school.

          10. Suggested Activity Ideas for Trainers
This chapter is designed to give trainers and Headmasters ideas of different activities
that can be done to enhance understanding of the contents of this manual. Heads can
do these activities at school-based workshops or meetings to create dialogue between
Teachers. Trainers can use these activities to review what has been learned in a
workshop. These are only suggested activities: they can be altered to best suit the
needs of the target group.

Topic: Teacher Behaviour
Suggested Activity 1: Ask participants to role-play Teacher behaviours and attitudes
   in the community. Have one volunteer be the “good” role model and another
   volunteer be the “bad” role model.
Suggested Activity 2: Make a list of Teacher behaviours commonly seen in school.
   Record them on chart paper or on the blackboard. Circle acceptable behaviours
   (i.e. brewing attaya during break time) and cross out unacceptable behaviours (i.e.
   smoking or sleeping inside the classroom).

Topic: Teaching and Learning Aids
Suggested Activity 1: Gather objects from the local environment. Show them to
   participants and discuss how they can be used in the classroom as teaching and
   learning aids. [i.e. sticks, plants, bottle tops, stones.]

Topic: Learning Styles
Suggested Activity 1: Discuss ways that you could teach a lesson that would cover at
   least three of the different learning styles. [Ask a participant to choose a subject
   and sub-topic.]

Topic: Special Needs Students
Suggested Activity 1: Ask Teachers to imagine that there is a blind student in their
   class. Discuss or role-play how they would help that child to succeed in their

Topic: Discipline Methods
Suggested Activity 1: Discuss discipline methods that the Teachers have seen being
   used at school. Ask Teachers to share methods that have failed as well as
   methods that have succeeded.
Suggested Activity 2: The authors of this manual suggest that all schools make their
   own school-based policy on discipline. [It must be in line with national policies
   on corporal punishment.]

Topic: Attendance Register
Suggested Activity 1: Make a sample register and call on volunteers to mark it
   during an imaginary role call.

Topic: Professional Dress
Suggested Activity 1: Ask participants to show examples of proper dress. For
   example, “Who can stand up and show us a shirt that is appropriate for school?”

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