Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Talking Teachers

Today I'm talking about teachers with my students. I need to know their expectations of me and their attitudes about teachers in general. We don't name names. I ask students which teacher behaviors they love and hate. Then we watch a "Teacher Pet Peeves" video a about teachers. The video was created by Bryan Baquiran, extraordinary student poet and soon to be Florida Gator.

The video brings us to Lisa Delpit's "Wanted One Teacher" (from Cushman's Fires in the Bathroom). We talk about what students want from teachers and from me in our English class. Then I review semicolons and we look at Delpit's sentence and write our own want ads imitating Delpit's style.

The lesson allows me to get to know my students and allows students to be heard. I'm having a great day.
Here's what my ninth graders have said they love and hate about teachers' behaviors so far:

We love it when teachers….
We hate it when teachers…
joke around (sometimes).
are joyful and animated.
teach interactively.
use visuals, not just lecture.
are nice.
have a positive attitude.
treat you like  “mad cool goon”.
tell stories.
are friendly.
are not too quiet.
don’t yell at you for everything.
have systems in place.
show us what to do, not assume we already know.
teach in a fun way.
know when to be serious.
are spontaneous.
are understanding.
speak monotone.3
give too much homework (more than 30 min per subject).
switch topics even if many in the class do not understand.
yell at us.
are rude.
do not teach (but just assign work).
talk too much.
ignore us. 4
are boring.
are sarcastic.
call us out.
are biased or play favorites.
lecture too much.
read from books we can read on our own.
abuse their authority.

1 comment:

  1. I took some time to read this, & enjoyed it very much, Lee Ann. I didn't do quite the same thing, but used to read from an old book I liked about teachers who aren't very nice, and then we talked about what students 'want' & 'need' from teachers. The answers were similar to your lists. How great that you got the students started opening up. Now I guess they'll see if you mean it. Have a great beginning to the year. I'm glad you're having fun!