I watched a TED talk the other day that really got me thinking…and I entirely agree with the points being made.
As someone who has the privileged of supporting new and trainee teachers I have often seen the struggle to engage pupils. Some people are naturally good storytellers and performers who can bring the children to the very edge of their seats, they can inspire and excite by the change in tone of the voice, a raised eyebrow or a gesture.
In our school our very often very well behaved but passive children really thrive when a teacher can bring that magic to their teaching. Sadly, many new teachers are not prepared by colleges / university to ‘perform’ and capture their audience…the key elements of good storytelling and no matter how well they plan the lesson they fail to fully engage the pupils. I really want my children to have a lifelong love of learning so school has to switch on the light!
I speak from personal experience. I was a nightmare pupil and still can be. Often staff don’t want to sit next to me during training as I can become very distracting, very quickly, if I lose focus. I know I am doing it and have taught myself ways to politely look like I am attentively listening…IPads are a fantastic invention as is Pinterest…. I remember reading a book by Barbara Prashnig when I was a young teacher and suddenly realising that I was hugely kinaesthetic and that my whole education had been torturous due to being made to sit still and listen for hours…ahhhh! From that moment onwards I explicitly planned for a variety of learning styles and always succeeded with ‘naughty’ boys where others had failed. They too were often very kinaesthetic and overheated easily. Windows are always open in my room!