Switching Group Rep
(My blog entry dated March 19, 2007)

People always say that my xanga entry is like a long essay. Today I will cut it short. In the previous entry, I said my daily experience enables me to better understand what others esp. my students, think. Today there was such an example:

One of my F1 boys T was appointed by me to shout out group name in a game. However, his groupmates, esp. K., kept saying that he didn't do his job and he asked me to let them change the rep. I could have said yes and let them choose their new rep cos I did notice that didn't make much effort in the game. However, I know from my own experience what it is like if someone says you are incapable and requires you not to do a job. So instead of allowing the switch, I encouraged T to try and asked him, "Do you want to be the rep?" He said yes and I encouraged him. Immediately after the answer, K complained again saying T wouldn't try his best.

The game went on and K kept complaining. After a few complaints and my own observation, I asked T the same question, "Do you want to represent the group? Do you want someone else to do your job?" He said yes and I went on and asked him to appoint someone in his group. The problem was solved with a series of conversation. The problem could have solved much faster but it would be done at the expense of a chance for the teacher to encourage the student and, worse still, the student's feeling of being respected.

Throughout the placement, I have become more firm. I once believed that a teacher can be friends of students so they will follow your instructions. It seems I was not totally correct. However, no matter how firm or even strict I am, I will always put my respect to students and their feelings at the first priority. If I have to choose all bright students to work for a smooth lesson, I will prefer a lesson which is not so smooth but which enables each and everyone of them to feel their importance.

Today another boy S said to his classmate, "I'm happy. I scored a point." Though he is half joking, I know it's his real feeling. He is usually doing something disruptive in class and teachers do not like him. Today I moved him to the front and made him the group rep. He participated in the game with great enthusiasm and won point after point for his group. That's what real teaching is.

Oh sorry, I’ve broken my promise! Another long “essay”! That’s all for now!