Sunday, April 16, 2006

After a nine year sabbatical from teaching I am back in the classroom and doing what I love, opening the minds of my students to the world around us and showing them that what we teach in the classroom has real life applications. Since I have been back I have noticed many changes in how we need to teach, but the basic student profile has not changed. There are students that strive to learn and make the most out of their school experience and on the other hand there are students that don’t. I know teachers that work very hard to reach students and provide them with the best educational experience they can give, but some students seem to have or take very little responsibility for their education. I have been struck by how students just want to get by, or just get things done with little or no effort to actually learn something on their own. I don’t see my class as a means to an end, but a door for them to open if they choose to. How can a teacher move their classroom from teacher centered to student centered? What is our responsibility as teachers? What role should I expect my students to take, in their education?

4 Comments:

Blogger ChingyenG said...

Maybe by having the students define their own learning outcome and make connection to the real life. So they'll see what's in in for them. I often hear them say that there is little utility in what they learn in school or school is a waste of time. It is too bad that they don't appreciate the opportunity to train their brain and improve their thinking skills until too late.

3:03 PM  
Blogger Caroline S said...

Asking students about their favorite teachers and why has been very insightful for me. Number one thing that they said is a teacher that teaches them something useful for the future. Linking what they are learning now to how it is going to affect their futures. I feel very lucky in teaching business. I have been linking what makes an effective manager to other areas of school. I am trying to make the connection that all areas of school are important.

12:40 PM  
Blogger Melissa Mindell said...

Just the other day we had this discussion in one of my math classes. I was shocked that most of those particular students didn't realize that the reason we teach students a variety of topics is to give them a broad range of knowledge so they are prepared for whatever road they may travel down post high school. I explained to them that they may not use this math tomorrow but what about this weekend, or a year from know, or in 10 years from know? For each topic I explain where they can use this knowledge in the "real world" and how they can apply it. I think that as long as you show the relevance of why you are teaching the material there is some buy into the content.

10:27 AM  
Blogger Krueger said...

For me, having a student-centered classroom has to start from day one. By this I mean that students should have a say from the beginning. This can be accomplished through simple things like letting students create or have a say about classroom rules on the first day of school. Then throughout the semester, I let students have a say about the content we cover in class. Of course I use the curriculum as a guide, but I try to let my student's interest in a topic determine how much time we spend on that topic. So, some things we cover fairly quickly, but others we will explore much more deeply. This has really worked well in my Business Law class.

11:52 AM  

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