So after the first reflection, I had an extremely busy week and am just getting to my second reflection now. I am not even sure what to reflect on to be honest.
One thing that I am finding quite challenging in my teaching, is getting students to read the required readings. I feel like every time I get to class, only a handful (if that) of students had done the reading. This can be very frustrating. Especially with my style of teaching. I prefer to have conversations with the students about what they learned from the reading. Talk about what surprised them or challenged their thinking. I want to answer any questions that may have surfaced for them and to have them share anything they might know that wasn’t necessarily in the readings. This is what I want my classes to look like, but that requires that the students come to class having read the material ahead of time.
I have tried a few different methods to encourage students to read more and to come to class more prepared. Some of those being;
1. Class prep notes (students write down five things they learned from the reading and hand it in before class),
2. Chapter quizzes (students do an online quiz before class so have already been in the material when they get there),
3. Reading Responses (students answer a few questions regarding the material and submit prior to class)
If feels like I have tried others but can’t think of those things right at the moment. But regardless, it doesn’t feel like any of them were all that successful. I wonder if this is more about my issue. My need to have serious, in depth and thoughtful discussion with the students. Maybe I need to just let go of that and recognize that most of the students aren’t going to do the reading and as adults, that is the choice they make. It could be due to lack of time, or ability or even just not being interested in the material. Whatever it is, maybe there isn’t anything I can do to engage them in the readings. I don’t want to accept that though. I think that there are some students that a different technique might work for. I guess I just have to keep trying. Maybe I’ll ask the students again ( I have had several discussions with different groups over the years about this) and see if they have any ideas. I usually ask students for feedback after I try out a new technique, but sometimes the groups are just different and what works with one, doesn’t work with another. I have certainly learned that over the past 10 years!
If there is anyone out there that has any brilliant ideas I could try, I would love to hear them!!!
Till next week (actually sooner than that if I want to catch up!!)