I have been very fortunate to (a) have a job and (b) given three resource classes of my own every week. I teach a variety of students in resource, a second year student, a sixth year and three first year students. Resource classes are one of the highlights of my week, the classes are a completely different challenge and thoroughly rewarding.
Today was my first resource class with my second year student – I also see her six times a week for History and RE classes. This student has difficulty with formulating her own opinions or answers on paper. Today we focused on gathering key words together in a Mind Map exercise on the character Scout from ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’ Instead of me instructing the student to write the Mind Map into her copy, I allowed her assume the role of teacher, writing up her ideas on the whiteboard. I told her to imagine I was an alien who had landed on earth and was going to read her answer, so to be sure to explain everything really clearly because I was clueless on the topic, not even hearing of the book. With this sense of empowerment, it allowed her to develop her key words into sentences and give examples of scenes from the book.
Sometimes students just need to be given the time, attention and most importantly the encouragement to reach their full potential. By simply reversing the role of student to teacher, it empowers them to show off the knowledge they already know.