Odd Observations in the Classroom

Teachers, have you ever noticed (and this question is strictly rhetorical) that some children stare vapidly into space as you teach a lesson and when called upon for an answer you would swear they hadn’t been in the room? It’s not that they aren’t interested – I mean most children cannot go the entire day without wanting to learn and participate.  In the early years, it is natural for children to be interested in academics and school.  No, seriously. But there is always at least one child in the room for whom learning seems to be a delayed process in a short-term manner, not in the long term.  It is as though they are having difficulty processing incoming data. watch quiet kids

The odd thing is that when these same children bring their work to me for grading, it is  perfect.  And they are independent workers.  They grasp the idea, they grasp the lesson but somehow they cannot verbalize it.  Even when not called upon to speak in front of the class they seldom if ever offer an answer. These children are solid in their learning.  They don’t require IEPs and they learn as well as the others in any sort of learning style – Gardiner would relate to that one.  Yet answers seem to be way beyond their grasp during the lesson.  I doubt it’s strictly shyness and unwillingness to speak in front of a group.  I mean, okay it could be with some kids but with all who exhibit this odd behaviour?  Watch self-esteem and learnig.

These are the types of classroom behaviours I don’t really “get”.  Perhaps it all comes down to a healthy self-esteem.  That I can accept.  And short of being able to observe the child’s role within his or her family structure (since this is the foundation of our sense of self) the only nudge upwards I can invent for my students is some sort of motivation in learning.  We’ve all done that.  Stickers, rewards, praise.  It does help.  I reward the effort, not necessarily the result. This video in fact shows the opposite of how to encourage children to speak out and participate in classroom learning.  I mean seriously who is going to speak to children this way?  Watch expectations: the self-fulfilling prophecy

It is this is the sort of baffling behaviour I ask bout among other educators to see what they make of it or what they have learned about it at in-services or when taking their Masters degrees.  Interestingly, when I ask them they give me a blank stare.  And say nothing. watch scores gives shy students a voice

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