Monday, October 16, 2006

Teaching! Ahhh!

Can't decide whether I just had a good or a bad experience.

OK so according to my continual insistence that all experiences are good, I've had a good one. I had a class of very tired, slightly confused and slightly disinterested 12 year olds who I was reciting the following lines of randomness to. I expected them to write it down:

I want to enter the head
To meet the chief of the meat
Be sure to get a receipt
For it is clear there is a deer here.

Until I touch my son's blood
I have few cues to use on his suit
If fur works the earth when they were birds

Crazy huh!? So I admit some fault in providing something so random. But they know almost all the words so I thought they might just do it one by one.

The problem is that they're so used to being cooped up and told not to talk as soon as you try and loosen the environment they start to take advantage. This means you feel like you have no option but to punish them.

The problem I face is that I want to teach them as much as possible as they have paid for the lessons and they deserve a good job. But the lessons are so late (starting at 7.40pm!) they can barely concentrate so I have to do less material that I think they can cope with (in normal hours). There are also too many of them!

So anyway got silence and I hope a little more respect from them. Next lesson is more relaxed.

It really makes you think about handling people - they are acting in the same way that all people do but simply more instinctively. I am trying to draw parallels with companies. I think people are over or underchallenged and this makes them disruptive. When disruption starts, it spreads leaving the very studious who continue working and the majority in dis-array. Authority is essential but can be used too bluntly and can create more problems in the future. It is equally important to understand the reason for the disruption and tackle it as it is to assert authority and earn respect.

Respect isn't something you give, it's something you earn - so said someone very wise!

So I will work harder to make the lessons at a better level and to make the interaction more simple for them. I will expect them to work harder to listen to each other and to me! I suppose the point is - it's not their fault, it's not my fault. We must work together to improve.

We shall see!


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