Advice to Teachers (from students)

A few months ago, I explained to my classes that I would be absent for a day because I was presenting at a conference for other educators. I asked my students a question: If you could give any advice to teachers, what would it be? Below are the honest responses from my Senior English class:

  1. Don’t give homework; it’s a complete waste of time, and most students don’t gain anything from it.
  2. Don’t yell when you want the class to quiet down; it will only make us speak louder.
  3. Don’t punish us the first time we misbehave. Talk to us first and give second chances.
  4. Give options for projects; it’s torturous to complete a project we don’t enjoy.
  5. Make class fun. Review material with us through review games like Kahoot.
  6. Let us feel that our opinions matter.
  7. Allow students to choose their own seats. Sometimes we work better when we are near our friends.
  8. Show films during class, especially if it is an adaptation of our reading; it’s always nice to have a visual.
  9. Allow students to help create rubrics for assignments.
  10. Allow students to choose their own groups for group projects; it can be frustrating working with people we dislike.
  11. Come support us at our sports games or other activities.
  12. Ask about our weekends to show you care.
  13. Allow us to listen to music during independent work–it helps us concentrate.
  14. Give students independence.
  15. Allow us to have small snacks during class; it is difficult to concentrate when we are hungry.
  16. Try to connect the lessons to our hobbies and interests.
  17. Let us choose our own books to read and give some time for reading during class.
  18. Don’t lecture or present to us with PowerPoint.
  19. Take us on field trips throughout the year.
  20. If the weather is nice, have class outside.
  21. Don’t email or call home without telling us first.
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