Lesson 54: Inspiring the New Generation

It is harder to teach the students now as the changes of time comes. If a teacher can only convey the facts in the text book, then the students may not want to listen. In this era, a teacher must be able to inspire the students so that their learning interest and motivation can be raised. 

The mediocare teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires (William Arthur Ward, American writer)

Based on my experiences, if you want to inspire a student, first you have to make the gap between you and each of the students closer.

Talking one-to-one

It is a good time to build up the relationship between teacher and student in a one-to-one talking. You can purposely arrange meeting with 2 or 3 students in a week. Then, in 52 weeks of the year, you will be able to talk to all of the students and at the same time, understand them better. I used to chit-chat with students before the class. We talked about his hobby, the movie that he likes, what happened in school and also what happened at home. 

There was once I talked to a very quiet students which was very awkward moment because he tended to remain silent. However, when he talked about his mother, he started to talk non-stop, saying that his mother likes shopping, likes to bring him to anywhere she goes, and bought him a lot of clothes. When the topic was opened, the wall between us disappeared gradually.

Besides understanding the students, I realised that taking one-to-one is able to help them more and persuade them more easily.

For instances, there was an obedient student who was very distressed because he could not stay focus for long time in the lesson. After I talked to him, I gave him a few suggestions and some encouragements. He gained strengths from that conversation, went back home and told his mother, " Today coach discussed the issue of staying focus with me. I will work hard to improve it."

One-to-one interaction

Nevertheless, the famous teacher in US, Ron Clark, shared a method in his book, that was, 'Create a Special Moment for the kid'. I personally think that it is especially very useful for teenagers. As long as students are willing to talk to you with an open heart, you can use your creativity to organise other activities, such as, birthday celebration, having a meal with the student or doing the student's favourite activity.

There was a bubbly and attention-centered student in my class. However, he did not like coming to the class. He used to show poker face and did not greet me. Thus I prepared a card and a mini cupcake for his birthday. Since he was always the center of attention, I decided to go the other way. 

After the class, I asked him to stay and said that I had something to discuss with him. When I showed the cupcake and sang the birthday song, he was surprised! Meanwhile, he quickly took out his phone to record my singing, before I managed to stop him. Besides receiving cupcake and card from me, he also recorded my singing. That made him felt proud. Since then, he always talked to me and did not show reluctance when he came to the class.

So these are the students in this era. When you are handling them, you should look after the entire group by giving general education and look after the individuals by meeting them [individually] periodically (Joshua Jung). Meeting and understanding the students one-to-one will ensure that no one will be missed out. Then this is a successful classroom management.

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