Trade places with your students.
What you will see will change your career forever!!!
Teachers can try walking in students’ shoes for one or two days to find out whether school schedules met the needs of students educationally, mentally and socially, how the student experience could be improved, and how the school schedule affected families. The discoveries will indeed be surprising. Teachers who went through this experience stated that it was an eye opener and wished they could get back to every class of students they had taught ever and changed a minimum of ten things!
Result: They felt a lot more respect and empathy for the kids. Some said that they were simply nervous to embark on the project, while others rejoiced in the chance to walk in students’ shoes.
The teachers should arrive at the same time the students normally did, which might be luxuriously late compared with their early mornings. Teachers who will have to stay up late doing their assigned reading or math homework for the next day like their students were less enthusiastic. Teachers noticed everything from how uncomfortable the classroom chairs were, to the short five minutes they had to get between classes. They also noted how boring some classes were and their inability to stay focused during the entire day.
Students sit all day, and sitting is exhausting.
They were drained, and not in a good, productive mood. It was icky, lethargic and tiring. Most of them were so drained that they couldn’t do anything that involved mental effort in the evening and went to bed by 8:30.
High school students are sitting passively and listening during approximately 90 percent of their classes.
• A mandatory stretch halfway through the class will energise students.
• Sacrificing some content to build in a hands-on, move-around activity into every single class day would be more productive than making kids sit through hour-long, sit-down discussions of the texts where most of the content go unabsorbed.
• Offer brief, mini-lessons with engaging, assessment-for-learning-type activities following directly on their heels.
• Ask every class to start with a doubt clearing session or just general questions born of confusion from the previous night’s reading or the previous class’s discussion.
• Some teachers also believed a longer lunch was needed to break up the day so that students wouldn’t feel so stressed and frazzled by continuous activity.
Many schools have programs that allow teachers to trade places with other teachers or let students role-play as administrators. But having teachers experience school from a student’s perspective should be more common, as it helps them understand the lives of their students better and assists administrators in making decisions.
It’s critical for teachers to get a student’s perspective and figure out how to incorporate their new insights into their classes. They focused more on physical comfort—how hard the chairs were, how heavy the backpacks are, how short the time between classes. These factors influence learning and attention.
Teachers can adjust homework and instructional pacing to accommodate student comfort and engagement and learning. This ‘backwards design’ will ensure more engaged, alert, and balanced students sitting in our classes.