Wednesday, November 07, 2007

More great stuff from Jolly Old England

I'm going to start billing Old Andrew for all the free publicity! I think Scenes from the Battleground is a truly amazing blog that pulls no punches about what plagues today's educational systems, and describes to a tee the same kind of disruptive and deviant behavior that I encounter on a daily basis - not only from students, but from hogtied and gutless administration ("managers" in oldandrewspeak).

Scenes specializes in providing informative lists of things we teachers face in school. Here is one example from a list of the "Top Five Lies About Behavior":
Lie Number 1:“If your lessons are good enough you won’t have any discipline problems.”
Who’s told me this lie: PGCE lecturers, OFSTED, LEA consultants, teachers from posh schools.
The Truth: Pupils don’t misbehave because you haven’t met their high pedagogical standards. The kind of kids that cause most disruption would consider any lesson where they can’t adjust their make-up, discuss their sex lives, and try and make one of the shyer kids cry as unsatisfactory. In fact one of the things most likely to make them kick off is seeing the rest of the class learning. The worst kids are a problem before you’ve even tried to teach them, they don’t care about the lesson, they don’t have a reason for misbehaving. They misbehave because they can. (emphasis mine)
I have lost count of the number of times I have been told that students won't misbehave if my lessons are "interesting" or "engaging" or "fun" or "cooperative". But Scenes nails exactly what I see instead, which is when a lesson actually starts taking off, I get less cooperation from the disruptors instead of more.

Keep it up oldandrew!

Good Day to You, Sir


Anonymous said...

Right! Some students will refuse to learn no matter how engaging the lesson. The true problem lies in defining "interesting", what engages the student. Some of my students talk, doze off, and misbehave when I lecture, yet when they are given a book lesson they thrive. Others are the complete opposite. It is very challenging, if not impossible, to engage all your students all of the time.

Sadly, what is missing from lie #1 is the personal responsibility of each student to learn what they can from any lesson.

Ironically, I find myself having to live up to lie #1 all the time as most of peers accept it as truth.



Darren said...

There's no excuse for excusing bad behavior.

oldandrew said...

Thanks for the link.

Just to let you know my blog is now at: