What makes a great teacher? Surprisingly, a key to teacher success came to me as I watched the ‘invisible gorilla’ video, which you may have seen. In it, the presenter has you watch a group of college students passing a ball to each other and has you count how many times the ball is passed. What you may have missed in this experiment of selective attention was the large gorilla who appeared in the middle, beat his chest, and left. The ‘gorilla in the room’ is largely ignored.
Archive for July, 2013
The keys to sparking student interest and increasing student participation may be sitting right under our noses, if we would only pause and pay attention.
The question is always there, we just choose to ignore it. And we pay the price. We ignore the question because we think it will go away. Every teacher sees the question in the eyes of his or her students, but since students rarely vocalize, the challenge is left unanswered and the lesson continues. The question, of course, is: “Why?”
Two, four, six, eight, who do we appreciate? It was my favorite part of graduation. While most of the audience focused on the graduates and their ‘fascinating’ speeches, I waited for the traditional salute to our teachers.
One by one our teachers were called by name and asked to rise to be recognized. For me it was an important moment. Of course, I was thrilled that my teachers should receive the attention they richly deserved but rarely received. After all, how often do students stand at the end of class and show appreciation for teachers?