Choosing (not) to listen
I have watched (and taught) many lessons where students listen intently to the teacher, and other lessons where many students do not appear to be listening at all.
What is it that makes these students in this class choose (not) to listen to this teacher? Is it:
- The teacher's delivery?
- The relationship between the teacher and the students?
- The connection between the students and the content?
- The students' relationships with each other?
As I watch these lessons, I notice many familiar scenarios, such as:
- The teacher starts, or carries on, talking even though it would appear that a large number of students aren't listening.
- The students are working hard and the teacher stops them to talk. Some of them carry on working while the teacher starts talking.
- A couple of students are looking at the teacher intently.
- Some students are making notes while the teacher is talking.
- All of the students are looking intently while the teacher talks.
- The students seem more animated when listening to each other talk than when they listen to the teacher.
- The teacher reprimands a student for not listening.
Why do each of these scenarios occur? What are the implications of each of the scenarios?
As I watch the lesson develop I wonder how the teacher is thinking and feeling? Are they satisfied or unsatisfied with the reaction from the students?
Does the teacher know which students are listening and which are not? How?