What do teenage boys require from their teachers according to recent research?
From the Headmaster’s Desk
- They want teachers who make class interesting and fun
Students have proactive and exuberant minds; they want a class that is active and can provide a shared responsibility for learning.
- They want teachers who are passionate
Students want a teacher who loves his or her job. They can tell if a teacher doesn’t want to be there with them. Being enthusiastic about teaching and showing they love their subjects can be an exciting factor to students.
- They want a teacher who wants to help them learn
The teacher has to show a positive attitude to ensuring the child learns what their teaching. It could take more explanation, patience and guidance. The focus should be on the child to learn.
- They want teachers who can admit their mistakes
Students are very watchful and most times they are attentive to your actions as a teacher. They want to know you are the right person to offer direction in their class. By admitting your mistakes, you prove to them that you are human and honest about who you are.
- They want a teacher who does not just lecture
Excessive lecturing can take them away from the essence of the class – teaching. Students want to be taught and not lectured. It should not be about reading off a PowerPoint. Teachers should try to tell stories or offer examples that will capture their imaginative minds.
- They want a teacher who is respectful
Respect is reciprocal. To earn the respect of the student, students want someone who is approachable, positive and nice.
- They want teachers who appreciate their input
It is important to appreciate any effort that the student makes. By commending them, showing appreciation or encouraging them you show that you value their time and whatever effort they are putting in to learning.
- They want teachers who are committed on teaching
You are not the salesman in car dealership; you are not the politician requesting for their votes; you are their teacher. You should focus on the assignment you are tasked to do for them.
- They want teachers who will challenge them
Challenging students means you are showing them and guiding them how to handle it. Whether it is a class project or assignment, challenge them to get their work done.
- They want some space, too
Whatever you are trying to impact may take time. So offer them the time and space for things to sink in. Time to think, reflect, play and process.
- They want to be noticed, acknowledged
Students want to know that the teacher has his eye on him. Make a quick comment that shows you notice them. Smile, know their name eg. merits
- They want teachers who encourages them to speak up
Let them ask questions; let them be able to share their perspectives on a subject. Even if they are off topic, just give them a chance to share their thoughts.
- They want teachers who are lenient
The school is not a scene out of the movie Matilda or marine camp. Students like teachers who are calm and who are easy to get along with.
- They want teachers who can relate to them
They want teachers who can build on a teacher/student relationship. This means understanding them and this may take time and effort to get to know who they really are.
- They want teachers who are good class managers
Students do not like a teacher who favours certain students over them. They want a teacher who can manage his or her class and show that he/she is the captain of the ship.
It is important that you also know that we all have a responsibility to make a positive impact in a child’s life regardless of whether we are a teacher or not. We need to know their names, smile and build on our relationships with them as parents, teachers and mentors.