Pure Randomness!

Pure Randomness!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Student investment

I have talked about my behavior management system in my class earlier. This one is about where that doesn't work.

The one area in which I am still struggling is behavior management. I have realised that their behavior is directly connected to how the students are invested in their studies. There was one student who was already invested when I started teaching them. I didn't have to do anything. But all the rest of them were not really bothered about why they were in school. For quite a few of my students it was a matter of just one session in which I asked them what they wanted to become in their life.

I don't think anyone else has ever asked that question to them or they have thought about it on their own (of course they are only 8-13 year olds). So one day they thought about it when I prompted them and also drew pictures of what they want to become. Half of them drew a big rocket, whose design pretty much looked the same and wanted to become a rocket man, which was later corrected to astronaut. There were other options also; doctor, teacher, engineer, army, navy. Of course my kids are not really exposed to a variety of professions, which is something I need to do sometime. Recently one more is added to this, an MBA, though I am pretty sure she doesn't understand what that means (again something which I need to do, indeed).

I have also told them they are smart enough (oh, they are) to become all these things. It is just a matter of working hard. "Work hard, get smart" is kind of a motto in our class. If I ask them now why they need to study, some of them even tell me that they need to become "something" in their lives. It is not that they all think about it all the time and bury their noses in their books. I need to remind them once in a while and thats enough for them to keep their focus.

Two of the brightest in my class (Kiran reads at 105 words per minute, Umesh can remember a whole page of masculine and feminine genders after reading it once for around 5 mins) are not invested at all. Kiran wants to become an engineer and Umesh wants to join the navy. But this is not really seen in their actions like I can see in my other kids. They are more interested in playing around. Once I asked Umesh after I have reprimanded him for disturbing the class he told me he wanted to become a 'mawwali'. I have no idea what that means and I don't want to know, but it doesn't sound good. He also told me that his mama is in police and so the police will not catch him. Kiran is hyperactive and will keep disturbing other kids by throwing pieces of eraser at them or just running around in class, poking the others. Of course it is not their mistake that they are not invested, it is just that I have not found the right strategy to invest them.

Any ideas?