So much enthusiasm, pouring from teachers
Who wish that those students could be shaped
And bent like willow boughs. But branches break
And so we’re told to bind them straight,
Never veering from the PowerPoints that clog
The servers, written back in 1992.
I wish that I could change the words to fit
My love that shines through light blue slides.
I’d do much better; they would too,
If we were to bend the rules a bit.
Now, I do want to start this post by saying that my mentor at my new school is brilliant. He is really helpful, and I just love his slightly jaded attitude towards teaching. He has done it for so long that he seems to love it and hate it in equal measures; he can’t live with it and he can’t live without it.
However, today I did my first online lesson today and one of the feedback points that I got was that my timing wasn’t great. I needed to focus more on teaching the structure of the story when I spent more time teaching the historical and social context.
He was right, and I did focus on the wrong thing, but it was the thing that I felt was more important. I love the history behind stories and thinking about why the writer wrote what he did. It lights a fire in my mind and it really does shine through.
I don’t think that teachers should have the freedom to teach whatever they want because kids could end up with a really wonky education if they did. But, I think that sometimes a bit of enthusiasm is more important than ticking a box.
I wish I could have spent the whole double lesson teaching them about the things that were happening back in the 1800’s but I only got twenty minutes and I got a slap on the wrist for that. In my humble opinion (and it is very humble as I have only been teaching for a grand total of 15 weeks), the curriculum really does suck.
9 thoughts on “a slap on the wrist for being so keen”
I know exactly what you mean! It’s such a tricky balance, isn’t it? On the one hand, it is important to teach certain content. Otherwise students will miss out on something they may really need. On other hand, Teacher enthusiasm is critical to successful education, in my opinion. If the teacher and students are excited about something, there should be some leeway for them to explore it. I often tell my students to think of ways in which they can weave the content they need to teach into projects that interest their students. For example, if the teacher and students have an interest in, let’s say, the Olympic Games, there are lots of ways to teach all kinds of content within that context.
Yep, tapping into what the students enjoy is so powerful, particularly for the ones that are reluctant learners.
I think the teachers and salespeople have very much in common.
As an educator, you need to convince your students that what you are ‘selling’ them, (knowledge) is important to them.
Therefore, enthusiasm and attitude definitely counts.
Students notice everything about their teachers, including their facial expressions.
Yes, there is a fine line balance between ‘transferring knowledge’, and keeping the students interested and engaged.
I taught when there were still chalkboards, but I always kept mine immaculate. The blackboard in the photo you posted cannot possibly help with learning.
Great teachers strive for clarity and simplicity, rather than confusion.
Thanks for a great post. 🤗🌼
Haha, I agree that blackboard is a mess.
Sorry about the slap and kudos to you for rising to the occasion and adding some passion.
I think I just need to switch to becoming a history teacher!
Well done you for speaking out.
There was a year when my office was next door to a history teacher’s, and we had a great time discussing how history and literature inform each other. For me, these were conversations about context and text. I wonder how great the challenge is in on-line instruction of literature to deal with students’ responses to the reading. I once taught British literature via distance education and so mostly had to talk at the students who were out there, that is, not in the room with me. I had to wait until I got some writing from them in order to engage with what they had to say. In a twenty-minute lesson, well, that’s another challenge. Only twenty minutes!