The quality of the relationships that students have in class with their peers and teachers is important to their success in school. Bob Pletka
We recently completed a study that surveyed over 300 middle school students about their perception of effective instruction. And, you know what? Student comments regarding effective instruction connected to student readiness for learning, learning styles, and teacher and student relationships. Basically middle school student perception of effective instruction reflected those experiences with teachers and learning where teachers responded to students as individuals, attended to their learning needs, and created a classroom environment that facilitated community and learning. Here’s just five things middle school students want their teachers to know. Each item is followed by a quote from a middle school student.
5 Things Middle School Students Want Their Teachers to Know
- Make learning relevant to our lives. “Introduce how it will relate to anything else we’ve learned so far, or how it will help us in everyday life.”
- Start lessons with engaging activities. “Good teachers start teaching with a fun activity or brain teaser. Good teachers start with a fun experiment or project.”
- Vary activities and include movement. “The teacher teaches in different ways (audio, visual, and hands-on) which helps a lot. We always get to get up and move around.”
- Plan less teacher talk and more student talk. “Don’t lecture so much, find activities that make us talk but productive.”
- Be excited about teaching. “I want teachers to be excited about being here and have a good time with their lessons.”
We will be presenting more about our research and what middle school students know about effective instruction at the Association of Middle Level Educators Conference in Minneapolis, November 7-9, 2013. Hope to see you there!
Thursday, November 7, 9:45 AM
Here’s What Middle Level Students Think about Good Teaching
Linda Neiman, Linda L. Carpenter, Jennifer Fontanini
We surveyed middle school students to find out what are their thoughts about what good teaching is and what good teachers do. Their responses may surprise you and affirm what you already knew about effective teaching and student learning. Join us for discerning discussion about what middle level students are thinking about good teaching. Walk away with a sometimes humorous, always insightful look from the other side of teaching.
AMLE Conference Information