It is hard to believe that even in the 21st century, there are still teachers that enforce almost police-like environments in classrooms. They never admit being wrong (even when they clearly are), the students are not allowed to come up with their own ideas and the way they learn is by strictly following the book.
We probably don’t have to tell you that there are better ways of teaching. If you’ve chosen the way of self-reflection and already included your students & colleagues in the process, the only thing left is to properly explain this process to your students.
Now, how would you do that?
We get it. Standing in front of the whole class and admitting to being wrong is not easy. Being vulnerable is not easy. But it is the only way of gaining respect from your students. You don’t want to spread fear and pretend you’re always right. Trust us, the students can tell when you are trying to fool them. Once you ahve crossed that line, there is no going back. There’s nothing in the world you can do to gain their respect & your authority back.
Instead, take a lesson or two to explain what you do and who you are. Tell them what makes you happy in class. Tell them what makes you angry and what you can’t stand. Tell them what you like to do in your free time. And finally, tell them you’re trying to always improve the ways of teaching.
This would be the time to hand your students the questionnaires we talked about in “Step 2: Training Methods and Techniques”. If students know what they are doing and why, you are likely to get honest and useful feedback.
Convey the experience.
You can take things one step further with this by letting your students walk through the same self-reflection process you just went through. It is up to you which and how many techniques you choose, but if we can add some input, we’d definitely include 16 Personalities test into the mix. If nothing more, students can learn about who they are and who they could be, better understand their own behaviour and connect with their teacher – you – on a deeper and more personal level.