Apr 12

Teaching Tip: Let your students know you are counting on them

Hopefully by this point in the school year the class and its teacher have developed a level of high respect for each other to the point that they both are willing to work mutually hard for one another.  If that respect has not been grown and matured then no amount of asking, explaining why, or eventually pleading will get them to try on the state standardized tests.

So, here I am in the final hours leading up to the state tests, and I without a shadow of a doubt know that almost 100% of my students are going to do the best they can on their upcoming tests.  Some will do it because they know it’s important, some will because the material and themes have been covered countless times, and some will do it because they know I will be counting on them.  In the past week and a half of review my students, even the ones that have struggled throughout the year, have been putting forth some extra effort knowing that their big test is near.

Now how did I get my students to respect me enough to work hard for me?  Well for starters I treat them all the same.  I am hard on all of them, praise them when they do well, and reward them when they exceed my expectations.   Most of all I do not make my class complicated I let them know what I am teaching them is practical in their world by relating everything I can to the world around them.  I remember when I was a student the number one thing that I thought about while seating in my desk was ‘what is this information is going to do for me’.  If it was nothing it was soon forgotten and so was my effort.  I teach trying not to waste my student’s time on needless things though sometimes the standards make it that way.  Though I have lost whole days talking about current events having my students discuss and debate issues that are important to them even though it will not be on any test. My students will appreciate this, maybe not on that day but down the road they will.

Once the majority of your students understand that you are trying to help them then they will be willing to help you keep your job which is what public education has boiled down to in the high stakes world of testing.  Especially at the school where I am, where passing and failing a class is not based on how well a student does on these end-of-the-year tests, but my job hangs in the balance.  That is why I let my students know that I am counting on them and they know that they can count on me to get them ready for it.

To read more of my teaching tips click here. 

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1 comment

  1. freda

    I always knew you were a very good teacher. Your students are very fortunate to have you as their teacher.

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