Thursday, 15 January 2009

Seriously.... Let's not be too serious.

I like to learn from my kids.
I think it's a good attitude to have - that a teacher can learn just as much from their students.

One of the most important things I've learned is the ability to lose my seriousness and just have fun!

How many times do teachers get so bogged down by all the "serious" stuff?
Paperwork, noisy children who won't listen, advise and opinions coming in left right center, the dripping aircon, the marker that just ran out of ink.....

It's not that important!

What's more important is what we convey to our students.

Sometimes I'll say something really serious like "Class, I have something important to tell you..." with the most serious of serious faces... only to complete the sentence with:
"... I'm so proud of the progress you've all made as a class!"
Accompanied by a huge grin.

Sometimes I stop mid-sentence and ask "do you hear that?"
And we spend the next few minutes listening to bird calls.

Or sometimes I'll just give them silly faces or silly answers.

Our students are always looking to follow our lead.
When we show them that we are result-driven and that all we want is a class full of robotic beings who listen to all instructions to a "T", and who get straight A's regardless of their true ability to think critically or mind other peoples' feelings... well, then what we are simply conveying to them is that we don't care about them.

This does not make anyone motivated.
Not motivated to cooperate,
Not motivated to learn,
Not motivated to be happy.

So instead, when we lighten up the atmosphere by learning from children's innate ability to want to make anything and everything fun and play... we show our students that we value and respect them.

This is the best motivator a student could have.



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