MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – A Westside High school teacher is in the spotlight again for excellence inside of the classroom.
Dominique Nichols was named 2017 Bibb County Teacher of the Year. Now, he’s using one of his non-traditional practices to help students better understand their lessons. He calls it “#famtest.”
Nichols says,”The students are teachers to the teacher and they’re teachers to themselves.”
The #famtest strategy turns students into teachers. Students have to make lesson plans and teach those lessons to their families at home and then again to classmates at school.
“I believe that in order to deepen and enrich their learning experience, it has to transcend the walls of the classroom,” Nichols adds.
Based on the results, the strategy is working.
Tenth grader Mikayla Edwards says, “It helped us because we actually had to break it down to where like we could teach it to other people but also we would teach it to ourselves as we broke it down because we would be learning ourselves so we could explain it more.”
Tenth grader Roshaad Williams created lesson plans on ethos, pathos and logos. He taught it to the class. He says it’s a experience that he never knew could be so challenging.
“When I first like interacted with teachers I was thinking your job is easy all you got to do is come in here and say something and leave that’s all you got to do. But then when I got to do it, I was like no this is not easy,” Williams explains.
Students say they learn better from their classmates.
“We’re in each others’ heads so we know where we’re coming from, we know what to do to help people learn, sometimes we can make each other laugh, put comedy in it,” says tenth grader Dallas Peoples.
The #famtest also pinpoints specific areas of weakness that the teacher may have missed. It’s an assignment that allows students to help each other and become aware of the time their teachers spend educating their classes.
After the students finished their unit, they wrote letters to former teachers to thank them for their patience and hardwork they put into being an educator.