20 Things Students Want Us to Know About Teachers/Education

  1. I have to critically think in college, but your tests don’t teach me that.
  2. We learn in different ways at different rates.
  3. I can’t learn from you if you are not willing to connect with me.
  4. Teaching by the book is not teaching. It’s just talking.
  5. Caring about each student is more important than teaching the class.
  6. Every young person has a dream. Your job is to help bring us closer to our dreams.
  7. We need more than teachers. We need life coaches.
  8. The community should become more involved in schools.
  9. Even if you don’t want to be a teacher, you can offer a student an apprenticeship.
  10. Us youth love all the new technologies that come out. When you acknowledge this and use technology in your teaching it makes learning much more interesting.
  11. You should be trained not just in teaching but also in counseling.
  12. Tell me something good that I’m doing so that I can keep growing in that.
  13. When you can feel like a family member it helps so much.
  14. We appreciate when you connect with us in our worlds such as the teacher who provided us with extra help using Xbox and Skype.
  15. Our teachers have too many students to enable them to connect with us in they way we need them to.
  16. Bring the electives that we are actually interested in back to school. Things like drama, art, cooking, music.
  17. Education leaders, teachers, funders, and policy makers need to start listening to student voice in all areas including teacher evaluations.
  18. You need to use tools in the classroom that we use in the real world like Facebook, email, and other tools we use to connect and communicate.
  19. You need to love a student before you can teach a student.
  20. We do tests to make teachers look good and the school look good, but we know they don’t help us to learn what’s important to us.

This list was acquired from MindShift (NPR).

As a beginning teacher I find this list fascinating. I was not too recently in University myself and I can remember my first time writing a paper. I tried so hard to do what was asked in the syllabus but for some reason my interpretation was not good enough for my professor. He wanted us to think for ourselves and not copy what other people had come up with. My teachers in high school hadn’t prepared me for this kind of writing. Of course, they had tried, but not successfully enough to prepare me for the critical thinking mentioned in #1.

I also have a passion for technology integration. When I was in Junior High (Grades 7-9) I was constantly on the computer. I was on so much in forums and whatever I could find. I even taught myself how to design webpages in HTML (back then that was the new and cool thing). This was never even touched on in school. I guess there was an advanced Info Tech. class but you needed to take the previous classes to be in it. If some of my teachers had suggested making a webpage as a project I would have been SO interested. It would have added a new level to my learning and I would have learned another skill while learning about Japan or Brazil. I plan to give my students as many opportunities as I can give them. I also want to encourage my fellow teachers to incorporate technology into their classrooms. If that’s where this next generation is headed then we should be at the forefront of it. iPods, iPads, Android, Social Networks, video conferencing, ALL OF IT!

Now while I support most of these I do not agree with the wording of all of them. Let’s take #19 for example. You need to love a student before you can teach a student. Loving a student can be taking in many different ways. I love my husband, but not the same way I love my students. I can love my friends, but not the same way I love my students. I can love one student, and not another. What I want is for all my students to succeed. This does not mean I love them. I think there needs to be a certain ability to find something positive in every student and focus on that but it certainly doesn’t need to be love (This could be expanded on in a whole other post).

While this list is based on information from the States and students who have been in that system, I believe it can (and probably should) be applied to all educational systems.

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