Do As Teachers Say, Not As They Do

15 02 2008

When I first started teaching I came up with a rule for myself that I would never make my students do anything that I couldn’t adhere to myself. I came up with my 10 minute grace period rule because I know that I have a problem with getting places on time myself. So I give them 10 minutes after class starts before I count them officially late. And I started trying to incorporate more activities into several classes when one day I realized how short my attention span is and how I learn best by doing.

Well, I just came from a faculty computer training session and today I learned just how many of my colleagues don’t adhere to that rule. I arrived during Part 2 of the training and there were coffee cups all over the place even though the sign on the wall clearly said No Eating or Drinking in the computer labs. While the instructor was trying to teach, there were all kinds of side comments and goofing off. One of the professors even answered his cell phone and started talking right in the middle of the class. The instructor was trying to take us through the step by step process to access the portal and there were people jumping ahead and then interrupting the class when they messed up because they weren’t following instructions. Others were trying to do more advanced stuff when they hadn’t even learned the basics yet. Toward the end of the class, everybody got loopy and just started making jokes and having bursts of laughter over dumb stuff. By the end of the class, it was practically a zoo in there. People walking in and out, laughing, doing their own thing. After awhile things got so crazy that I couldn’t help but sit there and laugh to myself.

I often hear teachers complain about how unruly the students are and how they never do what they’re told. Well, no wonder the students act the way they do. Maybe it’s just human behavior that the brain shuts down after listening to someone talk for more than an hour. Oh, but nobody wants to admit that because teachers can do whatever they want. Just blame the children instead. It’s so much easier…

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