Some students are just smarter than others. I am not really talking about high I.Q.s, instead some kids have an usual amount of information stored in their brains. This may sound like a dream student, but rarely is this the case. Often these” brainiacks” are the kids that thrive on finding fault in what teachers say.
A friend gave me the perfect solution to this problem. She confessed that her “Encyclopedia Brain Child ” kept her on her toes throughout the entire school year.
The child listened for mistakes and was quick to correct her.
Instead of being upset with these interruptions, she praised him when he caught any little mistake.
The result was that he became the best listener in the class. In fact, the child listened to every spoken syllable coming out of her mouth.
Instead of the child being a disturbance, she actually relied on him to catch her mistakes.
My guess is that other kids caught on and were also more attentive in hopes that they too would catch the teacher making a mistake. Since classroom etiquette was part of her instructions, all corrections had to be with a positive attitude.
I had the honor of visiting this class–Sounds a bit gooshy to say that it was a day that most teachers dream about. As a science presenter, it was a dream group to work with.
How did I respond to being critiqued by 5th graders? I was smart and didn’t talk about things that I don’t know about. My first move was to let the kids know that I am a ” techno newbie.” There were immediate offers to teach me.
I ask one of the students a question, and he was not able to answer it. So I began to explain. Before I could actually give “the punch line” he started waving his hand and excitedly said, ” I know! I know!”
He didn’t want me to tell him the answer. I was so thrilled.
My friend has given her students much more than facts. She has created a safe environment in which to express themselves. She daily demonstrates that its OK not to know all the answers. She has also taught them how to give constructive corrections. What a wonderful gift!