…Teachers are from Venus.
I don’t get students. Seriously, why are they even here? They don’t listen, they don’t want to learn. I would be better off if they didn’t come in. Except for the fact that I wouldn’t then have a class, or a job*, or a home. Students are great, they challenge my perceptions and assumptions… and they enable me to have a class and a job and a home. That’s very important to remember. I enjoy having a home. Jamie’s Dream School
The other important thing is that sometimes we say students, and the reality is we mean but a few – but their disruptive behaviour affects how you treat the class as a whole. I’m saying you, but really I mean me. You obviously treat everybody fairly.
Why is it that students lose interest? Sometimes it can be sunny weather, sometimes it’s issues outside of class, sometimes it’s because your lessons are really dull. I’m saying you, but really I mean me. Your lessons are always exciting.
Sometimes it’s perception. Last year, as part of Functional Skills English and Maths I got the students to create a survey on how they felt the course was going, which they would then do before analysing the results. Generally, the results were positive, except for Theory lessons. They uniformly disliked Theory. Except under analysis, they admitted they liked the teacher, the units, and the assignments. Actually what they disliked was the Name. So, after discussions it was decided to call the lesson MARS (Media, Audiences, Research Skills).
And sometimes it’s an actual issue. This year, a couple of my best students started to lose focus and their enjoyment of the course waned. Upon discussion it was revealed that they didn’t like changes that had been made to the timetable, which meant that they were coming in for a short period of the day and that they weren’t creating enough. Rather than getting defensive, I took the points on board and looked at my options – and in line with their comments made changes to the course, which were actually for the better.
*Though teaching isn’t a job is it? It’s a vocation, a calling. One of those roles we choose to do because we believe we can make a difference, and so leave behind options for more highly paid, more respected positions. Like Banking.
Be seeing you.