21 Days of Transformation: Day 4 – Please… Don’t Let It Be Me!

Anonymous

“But Sir, I don’t want to answer the question! I don’t like answering questions in front of the rest of the class! Why do you keep picking on me?”

How many times did I hear something like this from my students?

How many times did I ignore their requests?

Their pleas?

The problem was, the latest educational theories and training didn’t allow for students to avoid answering questions. As teachers we were encouraged to ask questions of those who didn’t raise their hands instead of always responding to those who did.

This, of course, would help the “quieter” students to gain confidence, learn more, become more resilient.

Or maybe it actually did the opposite and caused these children to become even more anxious about speaking up in front of an audience; made them more self-conscious; made them less resilient.

And maybe they learned less than if they were just left to sit quietly and take things in…

In the way they preferred to…

By listening…

By observing.

After all, we’re also told that everyone’s unique…

We all learn in different ways…

We should encourage individuality.

There seemed to be some conflicting thoughts and advice going on here!

And then my thoughts drifted back to my own school days…

Days of extreme shyness..

Days sat in classrooms that had seen better days…

Row upon row of well-used and well-graffitied desks…

Teachers stood at the front, chalk in hand…

Piercing eyes…

Looking for someone to pick on…

Looking for a victim…

“Please, please don’t let it be me”.

Get your head down, Keith…

Keep working…

Look busy…

Stay out of their gaze!

For the most part it worked. I avoided having to answer many questions in class and actually, I did pretty well. Good CSE and GSE results (Showing my age there!). Three ‘A’ Level passes and a Degree at Warwick University.

All of that made me think.

After that…

I ignored the “best practice” ideas from “the experts”…

I stopped “picking on” students who just wanted to observe.

I stopped forcing children to step out of their comfort zones before they were ready to do so.

And strangely enough, they seemed to enjoy their maths lessons far more than they used to!

And even, every so often, answered a question or two…

When they were ready…

On their own terms.

Sometimes it’s good to be anonymous.

Sometimes it’s not.

Let the choice be down to the individual.

Let the place of anonymity be down to the individual.

Sometimes I like to hide…

Sometimes I like to be part of a team…

Sometimes I like to lead.

And I’m guessing most people are like that too.

So now, I no longer try and “encourage” people to be something they don’t want to be.

It’s their choice, not mine.

Their life, not mine.

They will find their own way…

In their own time…

When the time is right.

21 Days of Transformation: Day 5 - Look After Each Other

Keith Jones

Keith Jones

Living a Life of Purpose


21 Days of Transformation: A Journey to Dig Deep into Your Inner Thoughts

If that sounds like a journey you’d like to take with me…

If you feel the need to dig deep and find out things about yourself you never knew existed…

If you need clarity and purpose to be at the forefront of your life…

Let’s take this journey together.