If I ever teach in a primary school

Well there it is. I've quit teaching at the University. Which doesn't mean I'm done teaching. Next up - primary schools. No, I don't expect it to be easier, I expect it to be harder. BUT there's a couple of changes.

Default grade

The stupidest thing I've ever heard from teachers was "you're really learning for yourself, not the grades". Haha.. Do I have a choice of being here? Do I have a choice in what I learn? Perhaps I'm evaluated to see what I'm actually good at? Nope. No one cares. Being pulled through the system is not what I call learning anyway. In any case I've learnt 80% of what I know after high school.

So if I'm going to be a teacher and see some kid not wanting to be in class I could tell them "you really don't have to be here" with a clear conscious and mutual understanding. Thus..

Every students gets a passing grade right off the bat.

If they don't learn anything during my class, well, they wouldn't have anyway. Usually the bottom 20% passes merely by cheating so why waste everyone's time.

Everything is allowed (almost)

The only thing not allowed is disturbing the class. In fact, this is the only way to lower your grade to an F.

So they better leave class before they start getting annoying.

I hear phones are a problem these days. Disturbing class is one thing, challenging the teacher is the elephant in the room. Guys, challenging the teacher is a good thing. How often do you have working days when you don't Google for something? Why is the teacher the only source of truth?

Yeah I get it, they get distracted. But then we need to figure out better ways of doing things rather than just forcing them to pay attention. That in fact has never worked and it's only getting harder now - maybe not a bad thing.

Of course my word is worthless until I actually go try it out. Chances of failure are high :)

Free flow lessons

There's a school system in Sweden, where kids come to the class they choose that day and tell the teacher what they want to learn. Then the teachers goal is to teach them math or physics through the students own questions. That makes so much sense.

Teach what the students want you to teach. Slide the curriculum in there.

It's funny how we all know kids ability to learn is amazingly fast, yet we don't seem to understand why they don't learn so well in schools. Makes sense to me. It's not interesting for me.

The most important quality of a learner is curiosity. Follow that and you'll teach them everything.

TL;DR

Point is you've got to stay honest and do as you see fit, not as the system requires. I have no problem stepping over the systems borders, because in my 12 years of schooling I learnt very little. Most of it's a waste of time and thus if my experimental class is a waste of time - nothing is lost.

Krister Viirsaar

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