Monday, January 8, 2018

Catching Up by: Nihar Kandarpa

It has been quite a while since I have done this. As many could guess, I have experienced a lot since then, both good and bad. Eighth grade is very different from seventh, in the sense that I have more put on my shoulders, a heavier burden to bear. Deadlines are stricter. Nothing is familiar anymore. We have to work harder than we ever have. But, these are things that are introduced every time someone advances in any subject, for that matter. Eighth grade itself is different from all other grades because, even though we have been in middle school for quite some time, eighth grade still reminds us of how much we have yet to learn. Ever since the new school-year started, I have observed my teachers with more focused eyes, and for the most part, I have yet to be disappointed. One of my teachers, while we were having a casual discussion, said: “I view my students as my friends than actual students.” Almost every student I’ve talked to that had this teacher said that she was their favorite.  And you know what?  I’m not surprised.

The Correlation Between the Type of Classroom and Student Understanding

Still, eighth grade is difficult. I say that with the utmost honesty. Yet, I only feel that difficulty with some of my teachers, not all.  Imagine this: A student walks into the class and the first thing that they see is the teacher assigning them a seat. After that, the teacher makes no contact with the student, and proceeds to their desk. The student sits at the seat that they were assigned, and begins working. The classroom is silent for the remaining class time. The silence is interrupted when the teacher begins talking about the specific lesson that they had planned for today. The students never talk. The only other sound in the classroom besides the teacher’s voice is pencils gliding over papers, the students copying down everything the teacher has on the board.

This is what I experience in a couple of my classes. The thing is, I don’t grasp information very well in those classes. But when I go back to the class where I am most involved, I take in the information with ease, so there has to be a certain correlation between the environment of the classroom and student retention. This is what so many teachers neglect. The more you involve a student in something, the better that they learn. It is so fundamental, yet teachers still fail to recognize it. Evidence of this correlation is everywhere, too. The same teacher that said they view their students as friends has a hands-on activity for her students to experience every single day. She never spends too much time in front of the classroom talking. She never limits student voice, either. She just lets us figure things out on our own, but guides us along the way.

The Reflections of the Classroom

During the time that I was away, I have learned that there is always a correlation between the teacher’s way of teaching and the student’s way of learning. The more hands-on a class is, the better a student can grasp information. It’s all connected, all intertwined. Everything a student learns is the reflection of everything a teacher teaches. But if the teaching itself is done by the student, with a proper guide, imagine how powerful the reflection will be.

1 comment:

  1. Nihar, I love your observations about teachers and those who really pay attention to the way students learn. Yes hands on makes all the difference. It really shows how much OUR choices matter!