I have been in the teaching game for over ten years. I have taught in four different schools and all of them had their challenges. The pupils were from a wide variety of social back grounds and ability levels. I know the behaviour issues and I deal with them on a daily basis. What I’m trying to say is that I know my job.
Then it comes to parent’s evening and suddenly I feel like I’m under fire. This will sound weird but I was accused of not bothering to teach this parent’s child. They were moaning at me for not doing my job. I was being told off, because this parent, who has never been in my classroom or seen my teaching, knew that I was not putting the effort in and was not bothering to teach their child.
It felt like I was being attacked and then it came to the crux of the matter. The parent was having a go at me because there was no way I could be teaching their child. they knew this because their child was, and I use this word as a direct quote, ‘enjoying’ my lessons.
How dare I! How very dare I plan and prepare a lesson which I think my pupils will enjoy. Why would I consider the pupil, when I try to figure out how to teach them. I took it as a massive compliment. Possibly one of the most back-handed compliments I will ever receive, but then again, when I told all the other teachers after the meeting, they laughed too.
We all enjoyed it.
I had the brilliant coincidence of teaching that pupil the following day. I probably shouldn’t have, but I asked them what it was about my class they enjoyed. Turns out that the thing they enjoy most about my lessons, are also the things I love planning the most.
I should explain a little bit. I love playing games, slots games, computer/mobile games, bingo games, basically any game. If I want to have a little fun, the very first place I’ll head to is TheBingoOnline.com. It makes me smile and I love it.
So I try to take these games into my lessons. I teach Computing, which just like everything else, if it was taught badly, it would be really boring. Yet, I try and put all the new things into games.
We play bingo using binary. I have treasure hunts through the school to find parts of code. I made a murder mystery game to help remember when to use a semi-colon.
It takes a lot of time, but as we all know, I re-use the exact same game twenty times with different classes. It is worth the investment and when I get the massively back-handed compliment from an uninformed parent, then it just becomes even more worth it.
I would love a Parent’s Evening where every single parent could sit down, look me square in the face and tell me that I’m not teaching their child. I would love to sit there and take their words, before pulling out the laptop, opening up the grade book and showing them a screen full of A’s.
Success builds success and rumours are riff about how I teach. Just like every good teacher, I try to make the boring aspects fun and I try to make the fun memorable. If one of my pupils puts the semi-colon in the right place, just because the remember that the semi-colon murdered the enter button on the end of the pier, then I will be a very happy teacher.