On the first day of school, students asked for the class syllabus because they received them in their other classes.
“Did you read it?” I asked.
Most kids said no; while a few read PARTS of it.
“What parts did you read?” I asked.
Grades, rules, homework, and some students said they read the required supplies. One student said, “I hate when the syllabus requires you to have a glue stick and then you never use it. ALL year.”
One student said the teacher READ the entire syllabus to the class.
On the second day of class, students wrote a class syllabus.
I have never given an assignment where I learned so much about the students. Most notably, almost EVERY student had Homework and a Homework policy. What does every kid complain about? Homework!!!
“Does there have to be homework? I asked the next day.
Yes! Most students responded.
“Why?” I asked.
- So we know more
- We won’t remember what we did in class
- You at least have to read and fill something out
- You just have to
Our Educational Practices Have Brainwashed Students!!!!
Students could not provide a reasonable justification for spending hours each night on homework and yet they included it in their syllabi. It almost seems like students have given up on the true joy of learning once they get to high school. As an example, one student didn’t fill out anything except for one class rule:
Class rules: This Section is Important to Students
First, it’s important to note that almost every student wrote about respect in their class rules. Second, all students included some type of rule about the bathroom. Believe it or not, I’ve had many students tell me about teachers who won’t let them go to the bathroom ; ( Third, most students want to be free to eat or drink in class. Finally, most students want to listen to music when they work independently and they also do not think using the cell phone in the classroom once in a while is a Major Crime.
A Funny Example
Can we as teachers give the students the same respect we expect? Is there a way to go to the bathroom, listen to music, eat a snack and maybe look at your cell phone during class in a respectful manner? What rules can I loosen up? The outcome will be happier students who learn how to function appropriately in class AND I might have extra time to notice something more positive about certain students.