The ‘Hidden Curriculum’

What subjects do you read at school? What is you favourite subject? Why?

Many people say they liked a subject because of the teacher.

What is it about these teachers who are liked?

It is not just what they teach, but how they teach.

The how is dependent on the attitude. The attitude of a teacher depends on how she or he regards the children and other teachers.

If the teacher respects the children, the children will learn better. Do you agree?

Let’s look at some examples.

Attitude of teacher – a good teacher believes that children are made in the image of God. Jesus said, ‘Let the children come to me.’ The teacher is called by God to teach. The teacher is hard working and dedicated.

Care for children – Jesus listened to the boy with the loaves and fishes. He healed Jairus’ little girl. The teacher loves the children.

Behaviour – shouting rarely has any effect. Which shows respect for a child throwing his pencils during a lesson? – ‘Please put your pencils in your wallet. I am coming to see your work – quickly do the sum in your book.’

‘Stop throwing those pencils you stupid boy. Where is your work you lazy thing?

Appropriate teaching – many children are given work that is far too difficult or easy for them. Some teachers constantly tell children the answers or write them on the board. A good teacher plans interesting activities and asks ‘open’ questions that make children think. ‘How high do you think mountains are? What is it like living on a mountain? Why is there snow on the Mountains? – rather than ‘K2 is 8,611 meters, it is cold living on a mountain and there is snow.’

Children can tell if the teacher cares. They know if the teacher is interested in what they are learning. They want to learn and behave well.

Children who come into a class where there is dishonesty, cheating, shouting, favouritism and no respect will learn negative attitudes and not learn the subject.

You may know this famous poem –

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn

If children live with hostility, they learn to fight,

If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.

If children live with ridicule, they learn to be shy,

If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty,

If children are always made to compete, they learn to cheat.

But – (complete with the words below)

If children live with encouragement, they learn …..

If children live with acceptance, they learn to…

If children live with tolerance, they learn…

If children live with praise, they learn…

If children live with honesty, they learn…

If children live with fairness, they learn…

If children live with friendliness, they learn that…

If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn…

If children live with sharing, they learn…

Appreciation     confidence     justice       patience     truthfulness         love

The world is a good place     respect      generosity

By: Rachel Ullmer

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