Student Teachers

Tormented writerEarlier in the year, I gave my class a Mastery Test to see what areas they need the most help. After careful consideration, I decided to give them all a taste of their own student medicine and make them the teachers of one of the sections.

At first they were all okay with the idea, after all, how hard could teaching be? All a person had to do was stand in front of the class for a few minutes and write on the board. The class was divided into four groups and given class time to plan their approach to teaching their subject.

Last night was guinea pig night. The first group was up. I sat in the back of the room and tried to help them get through the embarrassment of teaching something they really didn’t take the time to understand; consequently, they totally confused the rest of the class. There was a lot of blank faces in the “audience” and perplexed faces on the four students trying to impart their lack of knowledge.

I think the experiment was a success. The team learned teaching isn’t as easy as they thought, especially when the class asked me to reinforce the ideas that the team was trying to “teach.” Hopefully, Group #3 who are up next in November will learn from the guinea pigs and do a better job of preparation.

I had hoped having the students “teach” would make them at least look at the book and try to understand the material. I’m really concerned that so many of the young students really don’t seem to give a rip about anything. Every class, I try to get them excited about the world around them, but there seems to be no curiosity.

I feel sorry for them that they don’t seem to find joy in learning new things. I understand basic grammar and sentence structure  is boring, but with creative assignments like having a chance to teach the class and have the ability to do it the way they chose would get their juices flowing. Instead, they crawled through the chapter and didn’t present anything fun or stimulating.

Oh well, we’ll see what the other groups do as the dog days of the semester crawl on. Hopefully, we’ll find one teacher in the masses. I hope the profession isn’t a lost art.

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6 thoughts on “Student Teachers

  1. Oh how I would have given anything to be a teacher for a day! lol… It’s sad they aren’t taking advantage of the situation; for in real life you teach and learn everyday.

  2. The profession is definitely not a lost art. There is joy in knowing that although you may not be seeing an outward flame in many…there is still a spark being lit within a few. Even if you see one flower within your garden bloom, you work is successful. Keep up the great work. Believe it or not, these are moments they will remember years from now when they are telling about the time they taught the class. Keep us updated on the next set of students who are to teach this moment.

    • Thanks for the words of encouragement. With every class I teach, I hope I’m making a good impression and lighting a fire, but night after night of blank stares makes a person wonder what’s going in their heads. Next set of students is up on November 13.

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  3. What a wonderful idea and teaching tool. I do know what you mean about the vacant look and lack of curiosity. It’s epidemic. I couldn’t slow my kids down. What I spent on books to feed them would have fed a small country. It starts at home and early. They are lost before you get them. If you are lucky, you can ignite a flicker in one. Best of luck.

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