Sunday, September 18, 2005

more clarification

I hate to drag this out, but after a discussion with SW over lunch and reading SJ's blog, I thought I should just try to clarify what I said in my previous two posts:

I wrote in the previous post, something to the effect that geog is at the bottom of our priorities. Ok, that is an exaggeration (overstatement, hyperbole?), which I used to contrast with my expectations of teaching before I entered NIE. It's a personal issue. I don't mean to extend it to represent everybody's point of view. I have a tendency to dramatise things and exaggerate especially when I'm feeling agitated. I guess that teaches me not to blog when I'm feeling down.

But as I commented in SJ's blog, I don't feel like sec sch/JC geog content is second nature to me. I feel quite out of touch with it actually, after all the human geog we've been exposed to in uni. That is why I keep saying I would appreciate geog teaching tips. But since Kenneth has said we will get ample opportunities for that when we enter the schools, I'm perfectly okay with what we're doing now. In fact I was really enjoying the classes and I appreciate highly the tips we've been getting on school, exams, classroom management, social studies and so on. I don't want things to change. And I think we're pretty well agreed on that point. So I think it'd be great if we just let this whole thing drop.

However, before I go, one last thought I just had: I am beginning to regret having made my previous post at all. I don't want to go into the ramifications of this in case I stir up another muddy pool, but it brought up a thought. I think some of our students may not volunteer any contributions (ie. are quiet in class) simply because they don't want to cause trouble/draw attention to themselves/whatever, not because they're afraid of being wrong. We have to encourage feedback among our students, but we don't want to make them the centre of attention if they don't feel that they can handle it. So when we pick students to answer opinion-type questions, maybe we can keep that in mind? How can we involve such students without making them feel "targetted"?

8 Comments:

At 5:32 AM, Blogger Hermit said...

Hey Mirror,

The comment about cultivating a pscyhologically safe environment where there's an open flow of feedback and comments is valid.

I guess the only way to clear the air and yet not target the student would be first to ask that particular person what is meant by his/her comment. If there is any thing good to be extracted out of the feedback, then we can highlight it briefly in class.

That said, I just wanna add one point. It's the responsibility of the teacher to act the "wise sage" and to take criticism constructively. I mean, since the teacher has done it before, (s)he can understand the rationale behind it. The students will only realise the benefit upon hindsight.
So... just carry on with it.

 
At 7:02 AM, Blogger jenny said...

hi wen

i guess many people, including myself, will find it hard to accept feedback with an open mind. during my time at school experience, we witnessed the HOD giving the teacher a good dressing down after an observation because the HOD found many faults with her teaching style. from that, i realised all of us will have to train to be open-minded to criticism, but it's not an easy thing to do :) that shouldn't stop us from giving feedback either right, because improvements can only come from constructive comments. think it's a learning process, receiving and giving feedback. it's something everyone encounters in their working lives..so don't worry too much about it yeah?

 
At 7:26 AM, Blogger Janinah said...

Giving feedback is something we need to be very careful about. I think it is always important to know the person receiving the feedback..if he or she is not likely to take to what you say, then we need to think of ways of getting the msg across effectively. I totally understand how you feel now, but trust me, you're going to leave this behind you somehow. It happened to me b4, but it also makes me stronger.

 
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