What Teachers Really Mean When They Say…

The author of the article, The Tao of American Idol, attempts to decode what the Idol judges really mean. For example:

When Simon says …

“You didn’t do anything different with the song.” What he really means is “I am incredibly bored right now. Thank goodness they pay me so much money to sit here and listen to this.”

Based on my work this year, providing intervention to struggling readers via a intervention program, I’ve decided to decode some of what I’ve heard a lot of this year.

When a teachers says, “he’s so low,” what the teacher really means is that he knows the student is having difficulty but he has no idea where that difficulty lies and how to help that student.

When a teacher says, “he’s easily distracted,” what he means is that the students finds lectures and paper and pencil activities really boring.

When a teachers says, “he’s totally clueless,” what the teacher means is that none of the class activities have yet found a way showcase the child’s intelligence.

I can’t stand blaming teachers for all the ills of the world but I do think we can reframe our thinking about student achievement and lack thereof. We can better pinpoint student difficulties and make sure we’re planning activities that engage multiple intelligences and allow all students to be successful at something. We can also ensure that we’re not boring.

Related Articles:

Classroom Management: Appropriate Consequences

Energize Your Classroom: How Jim Cramer Made Me a Better Teacher of English Language Learners

4 Responses to “What Teachers Really Mean When They Say…”

  1. Elona Hartjes Says:

    I’m totally clueless about some things and not about other things. My grade 9 locally developed math class was “totally clueless” about how many inches in a foot and how many feet in a yard. I’m going to have to get them “totally clued in” about how many inches in a foot and how many feet in a yard or how many days in a year for that matter. Frustrating as it is, I have the responsibility of helping kids get clued in on a given topic- that’s called teaching.

  2. Talking Stories » Blog Archive » Don’t be boring! Says:

    […] parents, the education department and the media.  But Mathew Needleman reminds us in his blog, Creating Lifelong Learners that we teachers have a responsibility to provide interesting lessons that engage our […]

  3. Irene Reardon Says:

    Great post. I agree – I don’t believe that teachers should be blamed for all the ills that befall a nation. However I do think that their communications with parents and children should be executed with clarity. Basically say what you mean, be clear, concise and understanding.

    Irene Reardon

  4. tami Says:

    That is my favorite cartoon of the year.

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