My friend, an English teacher, called me to complain at the end of last school year. It was hot, near the end of the year, and the kids were finishing up reading Orwell’s 1984. She’s a great teacher. She had them reading articles about privacy acts, privacy laws, etc. They were searching the newspapers in class and making connections to today’s “Big Brother.” Yet there is always one who asks, “Why do we have to do this?”

Sometimes it’s not enough to give kids all the pieces to the puzzle or all the clues to solve the mystery. Sometimes you just have to take a step back, open it up to the whole class, and ask: “Okay, so why is this important? Is this still relevant today? Why?”

Rather than directly giving kids information, why not be a trickster teacher? Why not have them look outside the box and become divergent thinkers? Teachers don’t have to have all the answers, but they should not be the ones with all the questions either. Improving outcomes should be the goal

About the author

Jennifer Ratka, Consultant

Jennifer brings a unique perspective to aha! Process, Inc. having taught both high school and college. She has an energetic approach to bringing theory and research to life in the classroom with a perspective on how to engage learners.