Last time I wrote about the subjects and how they should be taught so the children see the sense of it and know how to use it when they are out to the real world. In this one I will share my idea about how school can evaluate children in a way that they don’t feel pressure before exam. At least not that much.
During my school year, I was scared to go to school when I didn’t do my homework, when I forgot my textbook or when I didn’t study and was afraid teacher would call me out to give oral presentation about the previous lesson or write a sudden text without previous announcement. In Hungary the mark are from 1 to 5, which 1 is the worst and 5 is the best score.
Why children hate school?
Not having textbook
Out of the things I mentioned above getting minus or bad mark because of forgetting textbook was the worst and most useless thing. I mean why do I get a bad mark for not being able to study and pay attention properly on class? Not to talk about what if I couldn’t buy it yet. It’s like punishing a child who can’t work due to physical weakness. Even if I can understand they did this to make sure the child wouldn’t forget the textbook, but instead of punishing with bad mark they should make them realize the loss of not having textbook to study from during the lesson.
Children need to realize by themselves why it is bad not to have textbook during lesson. Because they can’t write note or underline important parts in it. Because it is uncomfortable sharing one book with another student. It would be more effective as they realize they need to be responsible for their belongings, for their knowledge and studies. Automatically they will urge themselves to have textbook for the class regularly. But if they only have textbook in order not to have bad mark, they will just have it, but feel no need or no responsiblity to take care, value and use it. Therefore it is for nothing. This is one of the reason I like university a lot. You don’t have textbook, either you share with others or you can’t keep up with the class. Your choice.
Not doing homework
Not doing your homework and get bad mark for it is another thing I feel it is so useless. Homework is for practising and understanding the material they learned on the lesson. So if they get mark 1 for not doing homework they wouldn’t do it wholeheartedly or understand what the lesson is about. Therefore at school while revising and correcting the homework teacher can just let the kid who didn’t do homework to answer the question and if he knows it it’s fine, if not, sooner or later he will realize he needs to do it for his own sake.
I’m teaching English to kids as well and give them homework. Everytime they don’t do it, I tell them: “OK, not a problem. As long as you can understand what I say and you can express yourselves in English properly, it’s fine.” Teacher should teach children how to be responsible for themselves and for their knowledge instead of punishing them for nothing. That way they just make them hate homeworks and school more.
Sudden text or oral presentation
Sudden text and oral presentation without announcement. I don’t know how it works in different countries, but in Hungarian school, teachers usually make students write sudden text about the previous lesson without announcing. Or call out one student who give oral presentation, in that case the rest of the class survived. It is one of the most stressful part as they are always scared before the lesson if they didn’t study. I can understand teachers do this to make children study regularly. However, it is a good method to make them scared and stressful everytime the lesson starts. This is one of an effective way to make children hate school.
How to evaluate students?
Question for the whole class
Instead of making them say or write the same thing they studied previously they should do it more practically. For example for the first 15 minutes, teacher can ask questions from the whole class. Who can answer raise their hand, they give a plus or good mark for those who answered well. Teachers can also point out student to answer and if he knows it’s fine, he gets a good mark, if not then just pass. By time when it became a habit, children will work hard to study and raise their hand to answer because they want to be as good as the others. They will become more competitive and want to understand the lesson more.
If we look at the real world it works the same way. If you are good, you can succeed in your own enterprise, or you will be hired and be valued. But if you are not good enough, if you are lack of skill, you won’t be punished but people don’t need you. This is a reality that teachers should teach to the kids at school. Prepare them to be responsible for themselves. Make them understand they study for themselves not for having a good grades.
As for the grades asking the whole class is one of the method to give students grades. And then the big test. Instead of asking the simple facts they can arrange a test where they ask students to solve a problem that relates to the lesson they learned and it encounter the reality. Or a question where it makes them think and use their creativity. That way they can practically use the knowledge they learnt during the lesson.
Because in the real life, they will encounter problems that don’t have definite answer to it. They need to use the knowledge, experience, creativity to solve them. So this way children can practice thinking and using what they already have. This is another way to prepare them for the real world and school can still evaluate and give them marks. Moreover when they apply for higher education they can also hand in these test papers at oral exams or when they send their document, so high school or university will have an idea how that student is.
This is another thing that requires a lot of creativity from teachers and it’s not always easy to evaluate them. But I believe this way children will enjoy going to school more and they wouldn’t feel stressful before the class. They wouldn’t think they are stupid, because they realize it all depends on their hard work. And what the best is they can be prepared for the real life. Even if it requires a hard work and long preparation from the teacher I still believe they want their children to be prepared and to know that they can do whatever when they are out in the world rather than going out not knowing what to do with themselves.
Therefore it is WIN-WIN situation.