2016 was a difficult year.
It was one where I have questioned myself on a number of levels including professionally. I have doubted my abilities, and even my career path. I have wondered if after 12 years in the classroom that perhaps it was time to leave. The pressure and the stress got to me.
During 2016 I had a full time academic class for the first time in 6 years. And while I had missed the student relationships I had built up in the past by having my own academic class (rather than team teaching in multiple academics classes) the one thing I didn’t miss was parents.
I am not your traditional chalk and talk teacher, I don’t do death by PowerPoint, I don’t give worksheets, I don’t allocate homework (students set their own by answering “What am I going to do before the next lesson to ensure that I retain what I have learnt this lesson and further my learning in preparation for the next lesson?)
In fact at times I can have 28 students doing 28 different things. At our school there is only one supply teacher who will cover my class as the instructions left are “numerous”. (Sample lesson plan below) I plan the course and then help students work their way through it at their own pace. Adding additional support materials as a student needs it. I aim to individualise.
Every parent’s dream right their kid gets a personalised path through the course. Nope apparently not… I had more parent complaints than I thought even possible.
- Why don’t you teach?
- My child is missing out on vital information if you don’t explain in a PowerPoint.
- Why do students get to opt in and out of your lessons?
- You better make my child opt in to every mini lesson.
2017 is a new year. I’m going to try this individualise the course thing again and see if the parents react the same way.
At some point education has to change. I’m trying one class of parents at a time…