In honor of midterms being practically over, I have decided to post a little treat. This is a video made by the guys from KidHistory (if you haven’t heard of them, look it up right now!) and it cracks me up.
We laugh about it, but this is sometimes what teaching feels like! We sometimes feel like we keep saying the same things over and over again, and they just keep going over our students’ heads.
In a discussion with one of my professors recently, he told me that district administrators have one big problem with BYU students in their practicum and student teachings; the BYU students are unteachable. They feel like they have already learned what they need to know in their classes and they are ready step away from the student role forever.
This is a false belief.
Teaching is just as much of a learning experience as it is a teaching experience. As a teacher, we must admit that sometimes we make mistakes. Sometimes we teach things in a way that goes over our students’ heads, as in this video.
If we want to be the best teachers, we need to base our lessons off of what will help the students learn the best, not what we think is the best method of teaching. Sometimes they correspond, and that’s great. If they don’t, we need to test how well our students did learn and make changes as they are needed.
The best teachers are constantly changing their methods and learning more about how to best help their students. They are constantly looking into new methods of teaching and incorporating them into their classrooms. They talk to other teachers who might have new ideas that they could use, and they even talk to the students about how they can help them get the information they need. (Why do you think we have those surveys at the end of each semester that our professors encourage us to take?)
Don’t keep hitting your head against a brick wall. Back up and go around it. This is where formative assessments (the little tests given throughout instruction) come in handy in making sure that your method of teaching is effective.
Some students might need longer or a different method of learning. That is okay. As long as you believe that your students can learn anything they set their minds to, you will put all of your effort, conscious and unconscious, into making sure they succeed. Don’t move on to the next topic before they have the chance to understand the first one.
Give them the chance to prove you right. They will take it.
The best teachers are good listeners as well as talkers. Have you had any teachers who were good examples of being teachable? I would love to hear from you!