A low level student transforms much like a caterpillar to a butterfly before your eyes. This is a sight every teacher would love to see. We want to see our students grow and blossom. But, this isn’t what I am experiencing. Too many of my students seem to afraid to engage the challenges. Too afraid to come out of their cocoon.
A technique called Cold Calling may help the students transform. Cold calling plays off of two natural human tendencies. One, we all love showing off. Two, we fear dropping in social status. When a teacher Cold Calls, he controls which students are responding. There are no volunteers. This encourages students to pay attention in order to not look silly in front of their peers.
I saw great things in the two days that I’ve used the technique. I had far more students looking at me throughout the lesson. Also, more students participated. I heard from more students because I was able to choose instead of relying on the regular volunteers. A third benefit was the increased pace of the lesson. I think by not having to wait for volunteers, students felt as if the class was progressing. When people feel progress, they are much less likely to disengage.
A good goal to add would be to videotape an example of me cold calling. This will help keep it in the forefront of my mind. Plus, if the students are aware of my videotaping my attempt at growing, then they will likely respect the class more. Being a model of growth is something all educators should do for their students.