Random thoughts on teaching

  • You have to say things at least three times, even when everyone is listening.
  • A lot of times, people don’t follow instructions.
  • Sometimes, your instructions are wrong.
  • Sometimes students don’t remember things from one class period to the next, especially when there’s a week between each one.
  • I’m still waiting for the supposed digital natives.
  • Students make me laugh.
  • This teaching thing is hard.  As one of my friends said, the thing about teaching middle and high school is that you’re always on, from 8 a.m. to 3:30.  It’s very different from the teach one course, wait many hours (or even days!) and teach another.
  • Because of this “always on” thing, it’s hard to find time to reflect on what’s going well and what needs improvement.  But I’m trying.
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4 Replies to “Random thoughts on teaching”

  1. Yup to all of that. I’ve been surprised to find how much “younger” tweens/pre-teens/teens are than college students, even when I thought college students were unimaginably young.

    When I read your instructions, I think they’re written for Kindergartners, not 7th graders, but 7th graders share a lot more similarities with Kindergartners than I thought they did before trying to explain things to them.

    (my explanations are volunteer work, not teaching, so it’s not the same as running a class, but it’s still surprised me).

  2. Amen.

    I actually found that I had to repeat myself more often when I taught the gifted class than at any other time. I’m repeating myself a lot this year, I hope it means these kids are unusually bright.

  3. I identified with those first five in particular. And it sounds like you’re doing great and reflecting on the experience already!

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