How students might surprise you

December 8, 2021

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Just how often do you find students surprise you with an unexpected answer or a great idea?

Estimated time to read this article: 3 minutes

Last week I was reading a book with my youngest son, only to find myself playing fireman 15 minutes later, with pillows from the couch making up my firetruck. (Don't ask me how...)

And the week before my oldest son 'calculated' the total amount of soldiers that could be stationed in three bunkers with 12 soldiers in each. Something I did not ask him to do, despite my background as a mathematics teacher. (No really, I didn't!)

My sons never cease to impress me, mostly at moments when it is least expected.

And the same is the case for students in class.

There is a reason I wanted to organise a musical at the school I worked at.

Seeing the students show off talents I was not aware of, noticing how proud they are of the performance they are doing. That type of positive energy and enthusiasm is simply addictive.

An important aspect of education, but too often not implemented because of 'the curriculum', 'the exams' or 'no time'.

In my opinion, CLIL lessons are lessons where students also get moments 'to shine'.

This can be done in various ways, that simply do not take a lot of extra time to prepare or do!

For example:

  • Ask students to present homework problems to each other in pairs
  • Ask students to share what they already know about a new phrase
  • Create a 'classroom English' poster with students, with phrases they want to use in class
  • Ask students to prepare a new bit of instruction and help them do the teaching themselves
  • Ask students how they would like to learn and discuss if this is possible
  • Asks students to plan their own homework over a series of lessons instead of giving the homework yourself and let them explain why they made certain choices

 Just to name a few :).

Do you agree with me that students are capable of so much more than just 'following the instructions', if only left to their own devices for a some time?

What have you done recently to allow for students to surprise you with an unexpected idea, a great follow-up or an amazing project result?

Let me know if this helps you!

Key Take Away

Students might surprise you if you give them time to do so.

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