General Chemistry II is one tough subject to teach, it is a real challenge to make content relevant to students especially that some of them are abstract in nature. We also lack the facilities, since we are the pioneers of the K-12 program in the Philippines, we try to make things happen.
Classrooms though new are bare, students only have monoblock chairs to sit and a blackboards to stare. But the lack of facilities shall not hinder them the quality of instruction that they deserve, these are students under the Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) Strant, the builders of tomorrow. They should be ready to face the real world after high school and continue their quest for higher science education and to do that, they need a strong foundation in basic science education. As a teacher, I humbly accepted the challenge to deliver quality instruction despite these conditions. A classroom that’s bare can make the students stand out.
One way of making the classroom student centered is to let students discuss the content with minimal guidance from the teacher. I tried this approach to my students and I was impressed. I gave my instructions and procedures for Jigsaw discussion and they were more enthusiastic than I expected. They have no textbooks but they have smartphones, a tool so handy yet powerful, so I let them use it to its optimum potential and directed them to online resources.
They watched videos for concepts they can’t understand. They teach their peers and listen from peers. It was sight to behold, these students are like sponges eager to absorb so much about science and were willing to squeeze themselves to provide for others. Given the situation of the school facilities; no laboratory, no armchair, no textbooks, they learn from each other.
I assessed how much they learned by a Picture Quiz, I showed pictures that are related to the properties of liquids and let them explain the concept behind the pictures. And I know, I have achieved my goal for the competencies that are required of them have been met as shown by their detailed explanations.
Like the liquids that adapt the shape of their containers, these kids have proven that they are as flexible as the molecules of liquids; able to adapt to their surroundings but keeping their unique properties intact. These students are amazing, and I know the future is safe with the kind of attitude that they are showing towards learning.