The heading of this article is appalling, perhaps even conveniently misleading, but so is the reality of resolutions. It is the New Year, a time to start making promises to yourself that you know you will not keep. Since we almost always end up doing the opposite, why not employ reverse psychology? In that spirit, I’m making some New Year’s Anti-Resolutions that I look forward to failing at keeping.
To start with, I resolve to reduce all the fun in my classroom and use teacher centered approach throughout 2018. This means only standing and lecturing in each and every one of my classes; nothing but me talking and kids taking notes. In this way, the classroom will be dead boring to my students and minimal learning will take place. Please don’t get me started on the downward trajectory the students’ performance will take and the kind of depression they will suffer.
While at it, I will build a wall around myself to kill any relationship with my students. They have their lives, and so do I. There is nothing I need to know about them other than their student ID number for entering grades in the grade book. In fact, I resolve to not share anything with anyone in my department, school or the world at large. All of my ideas will be kept in my head or a private journal that nobody will be allowed to read. In this way, I will live a very secluded life where teaching is superficial and students are identified by numbers. It might interest you to know that the results will be detrimental and I might even lose my job.
I also resolve to give as much work as possible during the course of the school year with strict deadlines for completion. If my students do not have heavy homework every single night, they are not learning and I won’t be able to determine their value in my class. As a matter of fact, these must be done on firm deadlines because all students must learn at the same rate and turn in their work like everyone else. I mean if fish can’t climb trees, whose problem is it? Public education is about the masses, and personalization does not belong in the classroom. If you want that, go to the private sector- where I am by the way. If I follow through with this resolve, the results will be catastrophic!
I think I should also stop tweaking my lessons and make sure students have as few options in my class as possible. My lessons are fine the way they are and need to be left alone. If they were good enough for the students five years ago, they are good enough for the students today and the students five years in the future. Don’t fix it if it isn’t broken. By the way, options are confusing to students and difficult for teachers to grade. I’m in charge and will be telling them what to do and how to do it. I repeat: options just lead to confusion. So, I guess ill just use the 18th century materials to rigidly teach the 21st century student without recoil- of course the outcome will be unfavorable.
In conclusion, the twinge of irony here is pretty obvious. These are the typical things that education is not. Since I am poor at keeping my resolutions, I am not worried. What about you? What do you have planned for 2018?
The writer is a Language Consultant