This post is for my fellow educators out there.
I am a millennial teacher. My journey in teaching all sorts of students started back when I was 16; I believe teaching knows no age limit. Being an educator has always been a challenge and a fulfilling role, from doing tutorials to public speaking, you’ll never know how many people you can influence on your words and actions! With the ever-changing world, including people’s behaviors, how can we, as educators, level up the game of education?
Remind your students the reason they go to school.
Whenever I ask students, they go to school for the sake of getting good grades, graduating, and getting credentials. Who are we to blame them when this kind of mentality have been ingrained to them ever since? As educators, our role is not just to provide skills and concepts, but also to remind them why they are at school. Have you experienced a time as a student, when you were younger, that you didn’t want to go to class? Some students even hoped for suspensions. If students could see the value of learning, they would not feel the heaviness of getting up in bed just to go to school or meet their teachers. As you can notice, this has been happening to some employees as well. They work just for the sake of earning money. Thus, if we add purpose on things we do, we won’t dread the feeling of doing things because we feel obliged to do it.
Do not pressure your students for high grades. Tell them that grades are not a basis for success.
Accept that some students might not excel in your subject because it might be something that they are not passionate on. Moreover, appreciate the time they allot in attending class and submitting requirements. It would mean that they still exerted effort no matter what the circumstances might be. However, do not tolerate students who do not show up yet expects a grade in return. Show fairness in everybody. I have some instances wherein some students would not show up but does not give me the right to reprimand them in any way. Of course, as an educator, you would see this as a negative attitude. However, try to do these steps for better communication:
- Talk to them personally.
- Ask them what made them exhibit that kind of behavior.
- Be a friend to them. Give them space to open up.
You would realize that they might be undergoing some trouble that hinders them from performing well. Coach them and lead them on the right way on their own pace.
Expose them to real-life situations.
I am the person who is one of the perfect products of the education of my generation. Thus, if there are flaws on how education is administered, I might not be the right person to say that, since it was so effective on me. However, that did not stop me to advocate what I see from other people. I’ve been with successful people who had negative experiences on education. They did not excel in class and taught themselves on their own how to learn things they want to explore. Though your subject matter might not be of interest to them, try to show them how it can help them by exposing them to real-life situations. Remember that the subject matter might not be interesting to them, but it can help them in the future. Thus, I’d like to give some tips on how you could make learning more valuable to them:
- Do not stick to typical lectures. It doesn’t mean that you have to remove this part, it means that when you do lectures, try to make it more engaging by giving statements that would enhance their critical thinking. Try it yourself, see if your own lecture would even catch your attention or would just make feel sleepy.
- Give them activities. You sure find it very boring to stand in front and let those sleepy eyes look at you (or sometimes they don’t even!). Make way for activities that allow engagements students-to-students, and even with people outside the classroom. Join them too, to make it more exciting!
- Tweak your tests. Gone were the days that tests were multiple choice, identification, and etc. It depends on the subject matter you are teaching. I teach subjects that does not require memorization thus, I give exams that would make them apply their learning and even share it with others. If you are following my personal Facebook profile, I sometimes post works of students on my timeline. In addition to that here are some resources I use when I give them test and quizzes:
Students will clearly see whether you are enjoying what you are doing or you are just a lazy teacher. I would like to emphasize this because I heard feedback from some students on how teachers would pile up homeworks and class works to them without them even knowing why they are doing that. As much as possible, engage with your students when they are doing their tasks to let them feel that you are there to guide them. A teacher’s role is not to supply information, but to provide them tools on how they could equip themselves. In that way, students would be more thankful that they discovered and explored things and you were there to help them. Lastly, you did it in an enjoying, and fulfilling manner.
Entering college poses an increased risk for developing mental health problems, says Ronald Del Castillo, a clinical psychologist and an associate professor of health policy and administration, psychology, and behavioral sciences at the University of the Philippines’ College of Public Health. “You’re going to have your first depressive episode, your first anxiety attack, around this age. And where are you? You’re in the university.” – Taken from an article in CNN Philippines
Educators, let’s make schools a place where students attribute positivity. It may sound idealistic but I am sure that in the next years or so, with the help of responsible educators, we can change, gradually, how education is viewed by everyone. People go to school to learn, not to get credentials.
- Kahoot! – http://kahoot.com
- Quizlet – http://quizlet.com
- Are Philippine universities taking care of their students’ mental health? – http://nine.cnnphilippines.com/life/culture/2018/04/10/mental-health-issues-university.html
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