The other day I stumbled across this video on Google Plus that was created to entice more people to teach Math and Science professionally. It was lighthearted, but there was something disturbing about its message. Watch this video to find out what it was.
I don’t think we need to blow our students’ minds—that trick will get old quick!
We all want to learn, improve and succeed. Even your most disinterested students don’t wake up in the morning wondering how they can fail better. What is often missing is a conducive environment for them to learn, improve and succeed.
That sounds utopian, I know, but I’ve witnessed how it can be achieved in my classes and the classes of so many teachers, who managed to change their class’ culture and their students’ outcomes.
Students don’t need to be tricked, coerced, or manipulated to learn.
Those teachers didn’t need to put on a show, blow their students’ minds, or come up with some crazy technique to engage them. What students need is a culture that promotes learning and that has intrinsic motivation as the highest goal.
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Are we trying to engage our students or entertain them?
Sometimes I wonder, where is the line between engagement and entertainment?
We all want our lessons to be engaging AND entertaining. There is nothing worse than a boring lesson! Technology is the best tool for making lessons engaging and entertaining. But I fear that by focusing on new games, gadgets, and apps, we’re pushing aside education’s fundamentals to make room for tools and techniques that are more about entertainment than engagement.
The 5 Year Rule
If a teacher’s stint lasts for 5 years, statistically, he’s likely to become a career teacher. Regardless how many more years he keeps working, he’ll be comfortable in his own skin. He won’t try to impersonate other teachers anymore. He’ll also be more realistic in his view of students’ behavior and expected outcomes.
If we entice people to teach with the promise that it will be a fun, mind-blowing experience for them, I believe we won’t have to help them get through the 5-year hump.
Every one of us became teachers for different reasons. Would the above video have made taking the leap of faith easier for you? Let me know in the comments section below.