I often hear teachers and administrators complaining that they have given students laptop computers, smart boards, new textbooks, science equipment, language parties, new tardy bells and gym equipment, and the students don't seem to appreciate any of it. In fact, students frequently abuse these materials — deflating basketballs, vandalizing walls, and scratching equipment. Have we simply bred a generation of apathetic scallywags? Or is there something else going on?
Improvement of any system or process requires some degree of change for if we continue to do what we have always done, we will continue to get what we have always gotten. Australian educator Caroline Press said it well, “If you want things to change; change something!!”
While it’s great to teach students about discipline, there’s a huge discrepancy between “work” and “learning.” What if teachers started the day by saying, “Quiet down guys, we have a lot of learning to get done today.” This simple switch changes the feeling of the classroom.
Dear David, I teach lower level Spanish — Spanish 1 and 2. I am excited to try some of your ideas in my classes, although I'm having a hard time envisioning using some of the ideas in my classes because there is so much that goes into learning a language that is different than other classes. Do you have any specific ideas for me?