Teachers make the Worst Students

Having run and assisted teacher training in a variety of situations, I can safely say: teachers make the worst students.

Oh, we may look innocuous and attentive, but we’ve learned from the worst. We pick up habits from every bad student we’ve ever had. The next thing you know we’re passing notes – “Do you like me? Circle one.” Or talking during class, or grumbling about what we’re asked to do, or working on something else when we should be learning. We decide that whatever’s going on isn’t worth our time, and that our side conversations are more important. Oh, let me check this text message, it’ll only take a second.

Don’t even get me started on role-playing exercises in a teacher training session. Talk about a minefield. Left to their own imagination, everyone brings in the worst attitudes from the snottiest kids from every class they’ve ever taught. Three jerks can ruin a class; imagine when everyone in the room is channeling twelve years of dissatisfied students. If you train teachers, and your intent is to run a class on classroom management, this is simultaneously your gold mine and your Hindenburgh – a gold-plated, explosive gasbag, if you will. Student attitudes begin to bleed over into teacher attitudes, and feelings get hurt as someone embarrassedly slinks back over the line of decorum. If your intent is anything but dealing with attitudes, you’ll need to set some explicit guidelines before you start.

Why are we like this?

After all, we’re adults – we get to be the “deciders” now. Why do we end up making such poor decisions? What makes us think that the things we’re doing are more important?

Who did we learn that from?

Who did they learn it from?

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About Colin Fredericks

By day I help to create online courses at HarvardX. By night I write roleplaying games.

Posted on November 23, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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