Sometimes a Great Notion

Discussion in 'School Management' started by bushidomartialarts, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. bushidomartialarts

    bushidomartialarts Senior Master

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Messages:
    2,668
    Likes Received:
    42
    Trophy Points:
    108
    Location:
    Hillsboro, Oregon
    I overheard my son's math tutor say this the other day. I think all of us teachers, and our staffs (staves?), should think about it.


    Tutor: DJ, do you understand?
    DJ: Yes.
    Tutor: Really?
    DJ: Um, no. Not really.
    Tutor: DJ. I'm your math teacher. It's my job to teach you math. If you don't understand, that's my fault. Not yours. Always admit when you don't understand. Don't be embarrassed because it's my mistake.

    "If you don't understand, that's my fault. Don't be embarrassed because it's my mistake."

    I love it.
     
  2. Lee Ch'a

    Lee Ch'a Yellow Belt

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2011
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Right on.
    Almost sounds like a line from right out of a book or movie. I think the education system forgets this sometimes. Or a lot of times. With all the standardized testing, I think we've forgotten that computers can't really think.
    Thanks for sharing!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. harlan

    harlan 2nd Black Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2006
    Messages:
    884
    Likes Received:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I respectfully...disagree. In general, it's a nice sentiment to express to a child that is obviously trying. However, switch out the child to one that is lazy or doesn't care about the material, and I'm not so sure the tutor's heart would still be in the statement. Not for love nor money would I spend my time on someone that doesn't want to 'get it.'

    Truthfully, I don't think it's the teacher's responsibility to ensure the the student understands the material. In the martial context, I think the teacher is obligated to create a space and opportunity for learning. It's up to the student to avail themselves of the teachings, to strive to understand. Anything more is an act of generosity on the part of the teacher. Especially if talking about adults.
     
  4. Lee Ch'a

    Lee Ch'a Yellow Belt

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2011
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Harlan- You certainly raise some good points. With a student who doesn't want to understand, or does not care, I agree that a teacher cannot take the blame for that. I think the statement is somewhat based upon the premise of mutual effort, and assuring a child who may be afraid to admit they do not understand.
    Furthermore, in the context of MA, I think perhaps the situation is somewhat different than in school. In school, education (to a certain point) is technically mandatory, whereas in MA it's not. Now, naturally you get students who don't care anyway, either because they had the money and are just trying it because they have the money to do so, or because parents are forcing them into it, etc. In this instance, more is required of the student than in a school setting. After all, that is what Martial Arts are about, becoming self-confident and self-sufficient. That is not to say the teacher/intructor should not be there to help a student along (obviously, that is quite inherent in their title), but I do understand what you are saying.
    Thanks for bringing up some good points.
     
  5. David43515

    David43515 Master Black Belt

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Messages:
    1,383
    Likes Received:
    50
    Trophy Points:
    73
    Location:
    Sapporo, Japan
    I get where Harlan is coming from. I teach school for a living, and nothing is more frustrating to me than wasting my time on a kid who really has no interest on even being in my class, let alone actually learning something. But for those students willing to meet me half way by making an effort to understand and learn.....I`ve got an obligation to teach them to the best of my ability (just like they have an obligation to learn to the best of their ability.). That means I may have to spend more time on the new material, I may need to go back and review previous material again if the don`t have the base in place to get the new material, or I may have to look at what I`m doing and find a different way to present the new material. My job isn`t to talk and show and then hope they get it. My job is to teach and make sure they get it. Sometimes all it takes is rephrasing something or giving the student a few more chances to practice something step by step.
     
  6. Mark Jordan

    Mark Jordan Blue Belt

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Messages:
    255
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    18
    That's noble. Hats off to that tutor. I truly admire those kinds of teacher. But I think that works only if the student is diligent and really wants to learn. What if the student is lazy or doesn't really care. But then again, that tutor would probably think of another tactic.123
     

Share This Page