As I read this, I realized that the “why” has always been a huge part of my teaching style, which in my opinion has made me a better teacher. Not necessarily in teaching the academics, but in learning to make a relationship in order to strengthen academics.
I’ve learned that kids who are typically a behavior problem and/or don’t seem to care about school, aren’t doing it on purpose. They don’t wake up every morning saying, “I can’t wait to drive my teacher crazy, and I can’t wait to not do a single thing they ask of me!”
I’ve learned to ask myself “Why” is this student acting the way he/she is….Why would they not want to do well on a test…Why didn’t they study? Why are they falling asleep in class? etc….
When I step back and think of the possible answers to these questions, I have realized that it seldom has anything to do with school or the teachers. It’s not even the personality of the student. It’s their life.
When you ask “why is this kid a royal pain” instead of “Wow this kid is a royal pain”, you start to get an understanding that this kid probably has more of a “surviving” mentality than a thriving. He’s not sleeping in class because he’s lazy, but come to find out the police were arresting a member of his family right in front of him. This kid didn’t study, not because he doesn’t care, but because his electricity had been shut off.
The why allows me to understand…and when I understand why his behavior is the way it is, I can therefor remedy the problem positively to the best of my ability. On the flip side, if I didn’t ask the “Why”, I would probably just see this kid as a thorn in my side, and it would be an ongoing battle all year.
The Dude Abides