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Thread: bad lesson

  1. #1
    Sara M. is offline Newbie
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    Default bad lesson

    How do you feel when a lesson you teach goes badly? That means the students were confused, bored, or both. Although I don't expect every lesson to be exciting or every student to be interested, is there an "acceptable" number of bored students? How personally do you take students who don't pay attention or don't try? And when a lesson doesn't go well, is it okay to admit it to the students ("Yes, I realize this textboook is very confusing"), or is it better to just pretend it didn't happen and hope things go better next time? Feedback, please!

  2. #2
    susiedqq is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: bad lesson

    Dont worry about some students feeling bored. You are no obligation to entertain them; some learning will be considered boring, compared to what they would rather be doing.

    "Confused" is another matter. Students should not leave class confused. If you feel you aren't getting through to some students, then use those who did grasp the concept. Don't be afraid to ask students to explain concepts to the others in class. (No one really knows something until they can teach it, so let the kids be responsible for making sure others know the lesson.)

  3. #3
    Noego is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: bad lesson

    Thanks for your question.

    I also have the preoccupations and Iím pretty sure most people who take their teaching job seriously do.

    I have a different opinion than susieqq, here goes.

    As far as Iím concerned, being somewhat entertaining is part of my job. Now, I donít consider that being an entertainer is my job, Iím not a clown, Iím a teacher.

    On the other hand, I do believe that getting the students interested does have a positive impact on their implication in class. I think that transmitting knowledge in a way which is interesting is a valuable skill.

    I never did really appreciate the teachers who obviously didnít really care whether the way they were teaching was interesting or not. I donít think you have to an entertainer but I do think that there has to be some sort of minimal attempt to keep people interested.

    I think the form, the way you teach something, although not as important as the actual content, is still very important.

    Different people have different methodologies. I, for once, opt for making learning fun as much as possible.

    How personally do you take students who don't pay attention or don't try?

    It depends.

    In a class of fifty, if about 5 students donít participate, I donít worry about it. Itís reasonably impossible to get everyoneís attention 100% of the time, so I think thatís just the way itís supposed to be.

    If ten students or more are not paying attention in a class of fifty, I would consider that Iím doing something wrong.

    For me, itís all a question of %. I set myself standards and try to live up to it. I think having 90% of my students satisfied and participating is good enough.

    And when a lesson doesn't go well, is it okay to admit it to the students ("Yes, I realize this textboook is very confusing"), or is it better to just pretend it didn't happen and hope things go better next time? Feedback, please!
    I wouldnít do either. I wouldnít pretend that everything is fine and I wouldnít make excuses either. When Iím not satisfied with my class, I make a mental note of what didnít work and I just change it the next time I teach it.

    That means the students were confused, bored, or both.
    Well, students shouldnít be confused, but then again, they should participate in class, they should do they homework, they should be on time and the list goes on.

    If things worked the way they should all the time, it would all be a walk in the park. Only the thing is, they seldom do.

    I guess my point is: Donít beat yourself up with a stick if one of your lesson goes badly, it happens to everybody. Whenever it happens, I just modify the way I taught the class or change the material entirely.

    I wish you the best.


  4. #4
    Sara M. is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: bad lesson

    Thank you so much for the thoughtful responses. I do care a lot about my teaching and don't like when a lesson doesn't go well for any reason. I agree that students should not feel confused whether or not they find the lesson interesting. Nevertheless, as you said, there is a certain responsibility to be entertaining part of the time, especially these days, when students are so used to doing lots of fun things in computer labs. I feel that regular classroom lessons may not work for certain students anymore. I've actually been teaching for a while and find the endless technology frustrating because it's still not something I'm very comfortable with. But thank you again for the wise advice.

  5. #5
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: bad lesson

    Quote Originally Posted by Noego View Post
    Well, students shouldnít be confused, but then again, they should participate in class; they should do their homework; they should be on time and the list goes on.


    And they should pay attention.

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    Noego is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: bad lesson

    Ronbee:

    You missed one:

    I also have the SAME preoccupations and I’m pretty sure most people who take their teaching job seriously do.
    :P

    Nevertheless, as you said, there is a certain responsibility to be entertaining part of the time, especially these days, when students are so used to doing lots of fun things in computer labs.
    Well, yes, but as I said before, I don’t think it’s not the most important aspect of our job.

    Anyways, I just wanted to drop by to tell you that I’ve experienced that myself and I really know where you’re coming from. I think all teachers do at some point in time.

    I wish you the best and plenty of rewarding classes.

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