Posted by: endithinks | September 26, 2007

On Being Clear

I had a student waiting by my desk today after class.  She stood clutching her notebook in front of her and bopped slightly on her toes.  She was confused.  She was also worried about an assignment that I had assigned in class that wasn’t made extremely clear.

I listened to her questions and gave her some possible solutions and thought to myself that perhaps I hadn’t been clear in the first place.

The fears of the assignment were evident in the rest of the class as the last few minutes snuck up on us.  I answered some questions and explained things in various ways, but I’m not sure that the impression was completely clear.

I noticed fear in their eyes and it hurt me because the one thing I did not want to be was an authoritative, “I am superior fear me” type of teacher.  I knew that they all liked me and that I was doing “a great job,” but that look of fear in their eyes was very disarming.

How much power do teachers have over their students?  I was stricken by how apprehensive and nervous they were when the words “this will be graded” rolled out of my mouth paused in the air and then slapped across the room whipping heads and hearts back and forth like a protection money shakedown.

I was reassuring and calming, but I need to make sure that the assignment is clear, that the stakes are set out in understandable and concise ways and that I am supportive.

I want to be approachable and not the big bad wolf.


  1. What a truly wonderful teacher you must be. God bless you always.

    Shirley Buxton

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