So today was the first day of school.
Not much to say there, except for probably the fact that this year is the first year I’m being put in charge of a class. I am now the class teacher for a standard two class, and I am unfamiliar with all of the students in it (as I am unfamiliar with the other two classes I will be teaching this year), so today was a whole day of trying to remember people’s names. Not the funnest of things to do, but personally, I find that the sooner I remember my students’ names, the easier it will be for me in the future, not only for classroom management (since I can call out individual names from way across the room if and when a situation calls for it), but also for getting closer to my students. I don’t want them to feel like I’m just there to babysit or even work. I want them to feel like I’m there to help them (because I do want to help them), and if I don’t even bother to learn their names, what would convince them that I would be bothered to do anything else, right? I don’t know, that may be a flawed logic, but it’s my flawed logic, so chill it, skillet.
I remember a TED talk video I watched last year (link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFnMTHhKdkw ) that talked about the importance of building a relationship, or rather, a connection with your students, and there was one quote from her that I liked very much which went something like “kids don’t learn from people they don’t like,” in response to some other teacher saying “I get paid to teach, not to be liked.”
Her saying that made me think back to all the times I liked or disliked a subject, and true enough, the subjects that I liked and excelled in were the ones in which I admired the teacher who was teaching it. I also remember the subjects in which I didn’t like and wasn’t motivated to learn in, and they were taught by teachers that I did not like. When put head to head with each other, I certainly learned more from teachers that I liked instead of the teachers I disliked.
So working towards being liked by your students isn’t something “extra” that you do, or one that comes with your “style of teaching”. I think as professional teachers, we should make a conscious effort towards being liked by our students, because it is an integral part of the teaching and learning process. At least in my view, it is.
And so I joke around with my students. Kacau them to lighten their day. Play with them whenever I can (since these are little kids we’re talking about), as long as by the end of it, no damage is done to the teaching and learning process. Sure, I may get through content a little slower, since I take the trouble to come up with games and see them through to the end instead of force-feed my students worksheets, but I think by the end of it the students benefit from all that. They like me more, and so they learn more from me.
That is the hope, at least. If it is the case, then it sure has a hard time showing itself in the exam results. And maybe that’s why I’m not a good teacher. Because I seem to focus more on building relationships than increasing test scores. I dunno man. I dunno.