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Re: am i a terrible teacher?

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Bicyclken_at_TeacherArtExchange
Date: Sat Oct 20 2001 - 17:19:56 PDT


In a message dated 10/20/2001 4:28:12 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
smokealarm7@hotmail.com writes:

> am i a terrible teacher? am i expecting too much. 90% of what got turned in
> is poorly done in all regards. is there anyway to salvage this without
> having to fail 20 of 25 kids? our school doesn't like for people to fail.
> i'm panicked.
> please help if you can,
>

No, you are not a terrible teacher. You have a group that is rebelling
against a project and they seem to be very immature. I would revaluate your
project for yourself by looking at your objectives for the unit and seeing if
you gave them all the necessary steps to get there. You can never assume
that they know what you know and will be as excited about it as you.
Motivation is a hard thing sometimes and I know I have had to stir up the
fire to get projects that are lagging done.

I have also invited their comments in an informal discussion of the
assignment. A few will say "Well, I just didn't like it" After these are
done you could respond with a few facts of the adult world that not
everything we do is fun or of our choosing. How could they have worked in
the assignment to make it something they were into or liked? That seems like
a better challenge than "I just don't like it". Class time is precious and
when I see that they are doing nothing in class I make it done in class time,
they have one week to finish at home. If they are late, 5 points a day is
lost and I move onto another assignment. If they flunk, it was their choice.
 They usually don't flunk the next one and they soon realize that they are
responsible for their grade and participation.

Ken Schwab
San Jose CA

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