TEACHING TECHNIQUE – THE VISITOR
All the techniques will not work for all classes. But some are really worth trying. This one really worked for me. I think it worked because it made the students realize
I REALLY CARED
Here it is. I informed my students that I was taking classes every night (and in the summer) working on my doctorate degree. I explained to them that had I spoken positively about them in each of my classes because I was really proud of them. I told them I talked about them so much that my fellow graduate students wanted to come visit and meet them.
I told them that I did not want any of them to be embarrassed so that if a visitor arrived, we were going into ACTION PLAN B.
PLAN B was this
I would ask a question of the class,
If a student knew the answer he was not to raise his hand but to lower his head as if he was afraid he might be called on.
If he did NOT know the answer he was to raise his hand and wave it wildly as if he wanted to be called on
I would acknowledge all the hands in the air by saying, “OK, you know the answer, I’ll call on you”, pointing to the student with his hand and head down.
Additionally I would ask for a diagram answer and have a student go to the easel pad in the far corner of the room. (The easel pad would have the diagram desired already very lightly drawn in pencil. The student would then just draw over it with a black marker (the juicy kind, not the dry erase kind)
The students would smile and always perform magnificently. The guests would be impressed and think I had the best students in the world and they would say so.
I arranged to have guests twice a week.
The results were, in a very short time, my students had memorized every question and every diagram and no longer needed to cheat. I realized this when my least performer went to the easel pad and tore away the lightly drawn part and completed the Water Cycle drawing all on his own.
THE STUDENTS LEARNED because they were not being forced to learn; they were playing a game and it was FUN. The brain learns even when we are not trying. Learning is fun. But WHEN YOU ARE FORCED TO DO IT OR THREATENED to be punished ( by the scarlet letter “F”) if you don’t it is NO FUN. IT IS actually AWEFUL.