A teacher began: “today, we will be discussing computer hardware…he continued…blah blah blah then ended with the habitual question ‘do you understand?’ the students accompanied it with a loud roar of ‘yeees’. A few weeks later, the students sat for a test on the same topic but 75% of them failed. That’s not weird, of course the students said they understood because a further explanation will make the lesson more complex and confusing. This is a problem that can be avoided with the use of an instructional material.
What is an instructional material?
Teaching aid as otherwise known, is any material teachers in conveying information to the students. For instance in a mathematics class, a teacher cuts an orange into four and shows the pupils that a part represents one-quarter, the orange in this case is an instructional material.
As a teacher, the first step to take is to look for the most appropriate I.M for your lesson. Your choice may be influenced by the age and level of exposure of the students, while population of students in class ought to be considered for effective usage of teaching aids.
Teaching aids could be visual (pictures, chart, 3D objects etc.), audio, audio-visual (video clips), community resources as in field trips and likewise human resources, for instance, inviting a talking-drummer to demonstrate one of traditional means of communication. The best instructional material however is a real object, students understand the concept of weed better when they see the plant in the class than seeing it in a pictorial form.
When instructional materials are not readily available in school, take it as a duty to improvise using cheap and available materials. Spending 1% of your allawee to photocopy certain images is service and humility. Creation of Instructional materials may be assigned to the students, they will appreciate the topic better. I remember my Medical scientist mum sent my teacher a microscope to teach ‘Germs and diseases’, only after that could I differentiate a germ from an insect.
The choice and usage of instructional material tells how resourceful a teacher is. If your school is boarding, you may request that movies or documentaries that assist learning your subject be shown during leisure. I wish my teacher showed me the ‘History of Nigeria by Jide Olanrewaju’, I might have passed Government better.
These are not stressful, neither are they ‘over sabi’ nor ‘ITK’ as some suppose teachers may see them, instead they are what make a good teacher and are necessary in building the leaders of tomorrow. Hence, be the kind of teacher you want for your child!
Watch out for episode 5
 Instructional material