Just because I only have a few weeks left as a schoolteacher doesn’t mean I have ceased rolling out new ideas in the classroom. I watched a Ted talk on how to be the most effective teacher. The speaker talked about how he did away with the traditional teacher is at the front lecture and opted for a more student centered setting. This includes having computers and puzzles that students work on independently.
I tried it in my classes, the students seem to like it and it works reasonably well for more motivated classes. It adds another dimension to the course to keep things interesting. These new courses consist of a smartphone based word game, small group lesson and a crossword puzzle. These classes serve threefold:
- Get students interested.
- Take some pressure off me talking for hours on end.
- Being remembered as the teacher that tried new and creative things.
I’ve been trying to show my students that I care, even when I’m sure many of them don’t. I buy them cough drops, facial issues and masks to show them that I look after their well being. I wrote letters to my oldest 9th grade students. One of the most difficult ones apologized for his behavior and said he respected me and saw me as a brother. He put that letter in his wallet. It’s these moments of satisfaction that money can’t buy.
That’s all I could ask for. I’ll talk about him, perhaps months later. Just like “Paul” the middling government employee and “Roger” the old line cook. Have I become Mr. Pau (the 6th grade Chinese teacher I’ll forever hold in my heart) to some of these kids? God I’d like to think so.
A legacy is built by showing others you care about them.
Kingston S. Lim
February 8, 2020
Update: If you’d like to learn more about building a legacy, I encourage you to check out Dan Rockwell’s article, 10 Ways to Build Powerful Legacy Now.