Monday, December 6, 2010

Attitudes of Students

After a long weekend, I have decided to post a blog post about students attitudes. You are probably expecting to see one of two directions for this post, either:
A)    how great it is
B)    how bad it is
…but neither will be discussed in this particular posting. Sure I can say that the attitudes of the students, in generalities, are pretty awesome. If, as an educator, you cannot say that about your community of learners, you need to make a drastic change in your delivery. That’s my opinion anyway. I am also a realist, knowing that even your top students just sometimes have bad days. I did (in my opinion) a sweet mini-unit on natural resource conservation, coupled with an awesome (again, in my opinion) video. I was totally pumped for the video, none of my students were and for the life of me I couldn’t understand why! Darn it! You hear it all through your teaching classes, you truly do need a different plan for each class.

I am an “entertainer” teacher, loosely translated as if I am not moving and waiving my hands and playing music and wearing costumes and flashing power points then I think the “audience” is bored and won’t learn as much. Well, probably because that’s how I learned too, I needed the teacher to get my attention before I let him or her teach me. I could go on and on about some of my “lessons”, yes I don’t believe in lessons really. I have a clipboard with an agenda of what I want done. My “lessons” have involved a lot of coloring, story times, guest speakers (me dressed up as E.M. Tiffany for example), and other non-traditional avenues.

Which brings us to today’s crux of the matter…

I do a lot of stuff, and I feel like it doesn’t affect the attitudes of the learners.

I did not use to think this way. In my first three years of education, I tell you the truth that
They responded off of my energy. I had my freshman classes start a slow clap and crescendo before each class followed by the following chant, “it’s time, it’s time, it’s ag education time!” I will wait for you to finish shaking your head before we continue…

…I am such a ham I know. I don’t know how to be anything but. I do not feel like my energy has been lacking this year. I am too young to be old. I realize that students change each year, and my next group next year may be crazy like me again, but still it dumbfounds me with this particular group. I could read from a textbook, or I could bring in a live tiger. Either one would have the same enthusiasm from the students in some of my classes.

Written by Mike Derringer