Knowing Your Students


Ahmed’s story has made the internet rounds.  This kid brought a self made digital clock to school and was arrested for possibly making a bomb. Poor kid, can you imagine getting that phone call as a parent? The really sad part of this story isn’t about terrorist profiling, it is about teacher’s no longer building relationships with their students.  When you really know your students you know if your dealing with a potential bomb or a digital clock that a student would like to show you.  All I could think of was Charlie Brown. Do you remember how the teacher was portrayed?

When I was in college and my education professors would review my lesson plans they would always ask, “Is this a teacher centered lesson or a child centered lesson?”  When a lesson is teacher centered you have the Charlie Brown situation going in a classroom.  In other words the  teacher is lecturing. When you lecture as a teacher it frequently does not give the opportunity to interact and really get to know your students.  This is another reason I have always been a big advocate of hands on learning.  Besides the children really enjoying what they are doing, you as a teacher suddenly have the time to meander through out the classroom and engage your students.  Through this engagement you really get to know them as people.  Maybe if Ahmed’s teachers had done this a Texas school system could have avoided a very embarrassing incident and a young man’s thirst for scientific inquiry could have been encouraged.