When do teachers stop teaching a class?

Yesterday morning I was listening to TSN 1050 sports talk radio and they were talking about how hockey coach Ken Hitchcock was talking about how by the playoff time he was not coaching his team anymore. He was merely there as motivation for his team and was simply saying the same things he did all season to the team.

This instantly made me think about how we as teachers are slowly walking away from continually teaching our students and how we are there to guide them in their learning. The only main difference I see is that we are always teaching our students, we just aren’t doing it in the way that revolves around us preaching to them.

This has been one of my major struggles this teaching block because my students are used to and most comfortable with having a note and then practicing similar questions. Today I even tried to have them lead the lesson with a warm up activity on correlations and linear models. This didn’t work as well as I had hoped but the one aspect that is starting to improve is that my class is willing to work through a question without any guidance to see how they fare with it.

My next challenge with this group is to get their excitement up about the upcoming units. The past unit was a major confidence boost because it was something they have been doing for a few years and they have no mastered it. I want to use that excitement and confidence to motivate them through this unit on graphical models and future units to the end of the semester.

How do you motivate your classes when you have students reluctant about a particular topic due to past experiences?


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