It seems that there has often been a misconception among educationists that some classes are better in some ways when compared with other classes due to certain factors. For example, the better classes might be more spontaneous, more active, more engaged with the lesson. And for some educationists, this is usually illustrated by the fact that the students pose more questions, provide more viewpoints and participate in more activities.
However, a good question to ask at this juncture will be: Is this always the case?
Personally, I have came across classes that are rather quiet but the students are also engaged in the lesson. Regrettably, they have participated in a way that is often misconstrued by other educationists as not being engaged. Students in such classes are usually contemplative individuals and as a result, their thoughts are projected inwards and not outwards. To assess if you have such a class, you can do a simple test. Try to have them submit a written assignment to you at the end of the lesson. If you have such a class as I have described above, I am sure you will see very detailed and spontaneous writings from most of your students. It is important to note that spontaneity in class does not equate to being engaged in the lesson.
At the same time, I have also encountered classes that are considered too spontaneous. Some educationists might feel that I am using an euphemism in this context. But I am not. To me, they are simply “spontaneous”. Not “noisy”, not “too spontaneous” but” simply “spontaneous”. Such classes are often regarded by educationists as “rebellious” and “rowdy”, which in actual fact they are not. They might exhibit behaviours that are considered “not-the-norm” but more often than not, they are intelligent.
In fact, I consider them as creatives and unique individuals rather than conformists. And we are all aware that creatives are often shunned by societies and the world almost all the time. Just look at Picasso and Michelangelo. Their works are considered masterpieces only many years after their demise. Albert Einstein is not exactly a typical normal student in his time. But the fact is that they grew up fine and well. And they have brought so many things into this world and made so many contributions. In addition, they are often the ones who have breakthroughs.
Therefore, here’s a word of advice for all global educationists. It’s advisable for us not to compare one class with another because our judgement is always relative. And relative comparison is always flawed. Just take a simple example. If we are to put Albert Einstein beside Isaac Newton and do a comparison, who is better? There will definitely be different opinion among ourselves on this one. Similarly, we can place two students together and do a comparison. Who is better? Again, our perception will vary.
It’s important for us to note that each of us is special in our own ways, and each of us have our own flaws and weaknesses. The same can be said for every student in a class. And the same can be said for every class in any educational institution.
We should not compare but allow each student to develop in his or her own ways. Some will learn faster, some slower. But this is fine as everybody learn in their own time. And as for the classes that you are teaching, allow the class dynamics to take over. Nurture is always more impactful and productive than enforcement.