Being confined to your tent by ridiculous temperatures and ludicrous wind speeds for 24 hours is bad enough. Having to pee in a bottle, eat yet more Haribo and put up with the effects of last nights Spag Bol in a confined space makes things even worse. Then, on top of all of that, you can’t lie in any other position other than on your back otherwise your hands go numb due to trapped nerves. Little wonder then that, in such situations, Ian (my tent mate in Antarctica) and I hankered after a good argument to relieve the boredom/frustration. There was one argument, however, that we couldn’t have as it got Ian too irate; whether or not our teaching should be assessed, in part, by students. I was for, he was very much against … and as we both carried knives and he was looking after our block of cheese I didn’t push my point.
Now I realise that some students wouldn’t take it seriously and some would struggle to get their point across, but aren’t they the customer, the ultimate goal, the whole reason that we have jobs? If so then surely their opinions should be canvassed.
In tutor time I asked my tutor group to write on the board what would make a lesson great for them. Here are most of their points: own laptop, doing stuff outside, music whilst working, chocolate as rewards, teachers to use humour, more visual learning, comfortable uniform, if you can’t cope with class then there is a room where you can go, have fun and have your mind taken off what is bothering you, classrooms decorated by kids and when you get in trouble you get a chance to explain.
All of the points are possible, some with investment, most immediately. Should they be put into practice? Well I’ve just been marking books and planning tomorrow’s sixth form lesson; I’m listening to music, my top button is undone, I’ve been out running, I’ve had a chocolate bar, I’m working on my laptop, I’m in a room decorated by me and if I couldn’t face the books I would head downstairs and put the TV on. I agree totally with the environment they are trying to create so music from youtube, more student input into what goes on the walls and more rewards it is then!
Next stage (Friday) is to find out what they think of me as a tutor, I’ll let you know!