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Response to Buzz Clik (Reply #11)

Sun May 12, 2013, 12:24 PM

40. In reality,

what inspires some students does not inspire all. What kind of lesson or presentation is "boring" to one is not to another. Students are going to encounter all kinds of teaching styles, some that are a good fit, some less so. Teachers are never going to have whole classes of students who "fit" their style.

Some of the issue is about learning to function in settings that aren't a good fit. That's a life-long lesson.

Some of it is the displacement of blame. Attitude is a choice, and students can choose, when confronted with a teaching style that is not the best fit for them, or content that they aren't that personally interested in, to find something of interest to engage them...or not. They have a responsibility to engage. Teachers are not stage entertainers.

Here are some examples:

Students have different personalities and learning styles, just like teachers have different teaching styles. It's the students' responsibility to engage. It's the teachers' responsibility to vary presentation so that everyone out there gets a decent "fit" some of the time. Still...

Some students thrive on conversation. That's how they best process information; to talk about it to someone else. Some students do their best thinking alone.

Some students like high-energy lectures. They respond positively to preacher-like presentations. Some don't. Some prefer quieter, less dramatic, more concise delivery.

Some students like passive learning, where they sit and listen and someone tells them everything they need to know and do. Not coincidentally, the lowest level of learning. Sit, get, regurgitate. Others prefer their learning to be more interactive; to get some information, to process it and do something meaningful with it. Higher levels of learning.

Some students like group work. Others hate it. The introverts and the gifted tend to hate group work and projects.

What works for some never works for all. That's a truth.

My teaching partner is an extrovert; he gives long, windy, energetic lectures punctuated with dramatic gestures, movement, jokes, and sound to keep students from drifting off. He uses "clickers" to keep them engaged during his very long lectures. He uses the data gathered from those clickers to make attractive, colorful bar graphs, pie charts, etc. to analyze student responses.

I'm an introvert. My style is different. The humor is there, but it's dryer and more subtle. I tell more stories making connections; my partner gives analogies. My time in front of the whole class is shorter, and I spend more time working with small groups, than my partner. I use less technology, and less formative assessment, than my partner. When we have class discussions, or small group discussions, the students talk more than I do. I guide rather than lecture.

Our students get 2 completely different teaching styles; some prefer one more than another, but they generally appreciate both, and are generally successful with both.

We teach adolescents, who can be volatile. If a student is pissed about something, they can find plenty to complain about. What most often aggravates them is the failure of their avoidance techniques, which can be pretty elaborate at that age. We do our best to make it much harder work to fail than to succeed. Those that are okay with failing tend to dislike us most. They are the ones, when our weekly report goes home on Friday, likely to say, "Don't make me do this again! Just give me an F, for *'s sake!" Our response? We're going to keep working on this until you get it correct; until you demonstrate the learning that is the whole purpose.

Being unpopular is not always a bad thing, when that unpopularity is because students are not getting away with disrupting or avoiding.

I once had an 8th grade student that kept coming in to hang out with a group of students I was working with at lunch. After several weeks, I asked him this: "Why do you keep coming back to spend more time, since you hate my class so much?" Something he made abundantly clear during class. Every day. His response? "I don't like your class because you make me read, and I don't want to read. It's not you; you're actually pretty cool."

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Addison May 2013 OP
Wait Wut May 2013 #1
elleng May 2013 #2
HiPointDem May 2013 #35
proud2BlibKansan May 2013 #36
Scootaloo May 2013 #3
femmocrat May 2013 #4
mbperrin May 2013 #5
Buzz Clik May 2013 #7
mbperrin May 2013 #12
Buzz Clik May 2013 #14
Squinch May 2013 #8
sadbear May 2013 #16
HiPointDem May 2013 #31
Squinch May 2013 #33
proud2BlibKansan May 2013 #37
eppur_se_muova May 2013 #10
Addison May 2013 #15
mbperrin May 2013 #18
Squinch May 2013 #28
duffyduff May 2013 #21
Squinch May 2013 #29
duffyduff May 2013 #19
Starry Messenger May 2013 #22
knitter4democracy May 2013 #25
proud2BlibKansan May 2013 #38
knitter4democracy May 2013 #39
proud2BlibKansan May 2013 #34
Buzz Clik May 2013 #6
Squinch May 2013 #9
Buzz Clik May 2013 #11
Squinch May 2013 #13
sadbear May 2013 #17
knitter4democracy May 2013 #26
HiPointDem May 2013 #32
LineLineLineLineNew Reply In reality,
LWolf May 2013 #40
Buzz Clik May 2013 #41
LWolf May 2013 #42
Smarmie Doofus May 2013 #44
LWolf May 2013 #45
duffyduff May 2013 #20
Buzz Clik May 2013 #24
Squinch May 2013 #27
Goblinmonger May 2013 #46
Buzz Clik May 2013 #47
savebigbird May 2013 #23
no_hypocrisy May 2013 #30
Smarmie Doofus May 2013 #43
bluestateguy Jan 2016 #48
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