You might have noticed that I’ve recently been sharing pictures of my classroom boards on Facebook (and Twitter, occasionally). It’s a little crazy and self-indulgent if you think about it. Well, it’s definitely over the top for someone who’s not a member of the ELT community and/or hasn’t heard of the eltwhiteboard hashtag.
Anyway, like I said, over the past few weeks, I’ve been taking pictures of my board work and added them in an album on FB. There’s no system or order in it. If I think a picture is worth it, I share it.
Now, if you’ve seen the photos, you’ll know that my board work is not exactly impeccable. Still, I think it’s very useful for me to look at the photos in hindsight. First of all, it’s a great tool for my classes because I can use the pictures in any of the subsequent lessons. It’s much more efficient than writing the whole thing up again if you want to revise the material. I’ve noticed that it usually jogs my students’ memory quickly, especially if they helped me create the board in the previous lesson by adding items to a mindmap, filling in gaps, etc.
Not only is it good for my students, but it’s also good for me. It’s a great way of observing part of my work in retrospect. I’ve come to a couple of observations:
The board always looks nicer in reality than in a photo (I should clean the board more thoroughly). I sometimes think wow! but then I conclude hm, ok.
My handwriting is not bad but there’s still some space for improvement. In combination with a filthy surface, the result can get a bit illegible.
Coloured chalks look cool. Use them more often regardless of the fact that you are a secondary school teacher. 🙂
If you have time to prepare (and clean) your board before the lesson and write on a wet surface, the result is much better when it gets dry.
There’s one way to find out that your board work is cool – your students will take pictures of it. 😀
Also, believe it or not, some of your non-ELT friends may even learn from your boards. 🙂
To sum up, it’s great to have a visual record of what you’ve been doing in your lessons. By looking at the photos, you can always make a mental connection to a specific class and topic, which can inspire your future lessons. Also, you can use the pictures in different classes and different groups, which saves your precious time.