10 techniques to ensure that your lessons are as dull as dish water
**The Edvocate is pleased to publish guest posts as way to fuel important conversations surrounding P-20 education in America. The opinions contained within guest posts are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of The Edvocate or Dr. Matthew Lynch.**
By Kelly Walsh
Seriously, it’s our Job to Inspire Learning?
We’ve all heard of or witnessed so many of these tired old approaches to delivering lessons. If you do happen to witness other educators sucking the will to learn out of students, please don’t just sit idly by. Weep openly, gnash your teeth, moan and shake our head, or maybe even wail loudly and pound your fists against the wall.
Here are some of the many unfortunate ways in which students everywhere are being disenchanted, disaffected, discouraged, disavowed, disarmed, disturbed, disgruntled and disingenuously served by some of our colleagues, who apparently feel that it is simply not their job to inspire learning or motivate students …
- Frequently lecture endlessly throughout the entire class session, expecting students to learn by scribbling notes as fast as they can.
- Don’t provide any activities that allow students to get up and move (a particularly heinous act for younger students).
- Have students read or work on problems alone in their chairs for the entire class session (as one of my elementary teachers used to say, “Read, Damn it, Read!” Good times.).
- Create online video lessons that basically just repeat what’s in the text book.
- Never give any group lessons or collaborative assignments.
- Create “digital lessons” in the form of narrated PowerPoint slides, reading verbatim from the text in the slides.
- Avoid all forms of formative assessment.
- Let Teacher’s Assistants give the bulk of the lectures, during which they frequently just rewrite content from the text on the board and attempt to explain it (not to mention the occasional indiscernible accent, which may not be ‘PC’ to say, but is nevertheless simply not fair to students).
- Rarely encourage interaction and dialogue (those *&^# students really should just sit there and listen!).
- Never taking a moment to recognize your students as individuals and reward them with gratitude, appreciation, and recognition of effort.
If you do come across this unfortunate situation, you might consider printing this article out and slipping it under that colleague’s door or in their mail box. Maybe, just maybe, they’ll check out some of these resources to try to change their ways (we can all dream can’t we?):
- Exploring Self-Driven Learning and Student Motivation (Ferlazzo)
- 8 Engaging Ways to use Technology in the Classroom to Create Lessons That Aren’t Boring
- 20 Fun Free Tools for Interactive Classroom Collaboration
- 5 Tech Savvy Teaching Tools That Your Students Will Love and Your Peers Will Envy
- 10 of the Most Engaging Uses of Instructional Technology (with Dozens of Resources and Tools)
This post originally appeared on Emerging EdTech, and was republished with permission.
Read all of our posts about EdTech and Innovation by clicking here.
Kelly Walsh is Chief Information Officer at The College of Westchester, in White Plains, NY, where he also teaches. In 2009, Walsh founded EmergingEdTech.com. As an education and instructional technology advocate, he frequently delivers presentations on a variety of related topics at schools and conferences across the U.S. Walsh is also an author, and online educator, regularly running Flipped Class Workshops online. His eBook, the Flipped Classroom Workshop-in-a-Book is available here. Kelly also writes, records, and performs original music … stop by kwalshmusic.com and have a listen!
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