Trade places with your students. The things you will see and learn will change your career and your perspective forever!!!
Teachers can try walking in students’ shoes for one or two days to find out whether school schedules meet students’ educational, mental, and social needs. You will learn and understand a student’s life and make necessary changes to improve their school experience. This experiment can also help teachers understand how schools and school life affects the family of a student. The discoveries will indeed be surprising. Teachers who went through this experience stated that it was an eye-opener and wished they could get back to every class of students they had ever taught and change a minimum of ten things!
Result: They felt a lot more respect and empathy for the kids. Some said that they were simply nervous about embarking on the project, while others rejoiced in the chance to walk in their students’ shoes.
A few teachers tried out the experiment and listed their own understanding of the life of a student. The teachers arrived at the same time as the students. This was luxuriously late compared to their early mornings. The teachers also stayed up late, completing their assigned reading or math homework for the next day. Luckily, these teachers noticed everything, from how uncomfortable the classroom chairs were to the short five minutes the students get in between classes. They also noted how boring some classes were and their inability to stay focused during the entire day.
Students sit all day, and sitting is exhausting.
They were drained and not in a good, productive mood. It was icky, lethargic, and tiring. Most of them were so drained that they couldn’t do anything that involved mental effort in the evening and went to bed by 8:30.
High school students spend 90 percent of their classes passively listening to the teachers.
• A mandatory stretch halfway through the class will energize students.
• Sacrificing some content to build in a hands-on, move-around activity into every class day would be more productive than making kids sit through hour-long, sit-down discussions of the texts where most of the content goes unabsorbed.
• Offer brief, mini-lessons with engaging, assessment-for-learning-type activities following directly on their heels.
• Ask every class to start with a doubt clearing session or just general questions born of confusion from the previous night’s reading or the previous class’s discussion.
• Some teachers also believed a longer lunch was needed to break up the day to feel so stressed and frazzled by continuous activity.
Many schools have programs that allow teachers to trade places with other teachers or let students role-play as administrators. But having teachers experience school from a student’s perspective should be more common, as it helps them understand the lives of their students better and assists administrators in making the right decisions.
Teachers must get a student’s perspective and figure out how to incorporate their new insights into their classes. They focused more on physical comfort—how hard the chairs were, how heavy the backpacks are, how short the time between classes. These factors influence learning and attention.
Teachers can adjust homework and instructional pacing to accommodate student comfort. This ‘backward design’ will ensure more engagement and alertness in the students.
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