Today`s student was a red level student, who has over the last few months considerably improved in all skill areas. Part of the reason why he has managed to do this is undeniably through his own hard work. I remember when I first taught him and I wrapped up the class and he pulled out his digital camera and wanted to take a snap of the white board. My first reaction was one of embarrassment, like a person who is caught wearing the wrong clothes when the boss drops in. This was just a knee jerk reaction of course. My board work follows a set format in order to ensure my students can follow it easily through continued lessons, but i guess anyone would want to double check their work before it goes on film! My next reaction was one of awe. I was impressed by what a clever idea it was to actually take a picture of everything that the teacher wrote down. How wonderful technology is now and how it opens up so many new techniques in study (podcasts, downloads, interactive lessons etc).
So at the start of today`s lesson he produced an A4 colour photo of our white board from the last lesson (the resolution is amazing on the cameras these days!). He had gone home, printed put the photo, written down the points and done his review. As you can see this is partly why he has been able to improve so much over the last few months. But he had found a point from the white board that he wasn’t sure about so he asked me about it. I was able to clear it up for him relatively easily and he corrected his copy of the photo.
He looked pleased to have been able to clarify the hole in his home study and it also gave me more of an insight into exactly how he used his pictures that he was taking every class. The importance this student places on the teachers written board work helps to remind me of how important it is for all students. Moreover this small exercise allowed the student to see that by taking his photo and printing it out was actually handy and it allowed me to help the student in a way that I would never have imagined possible at the beginning of my teaching career 14 years ago.