Understand the students is important in order to be able to teach them. In this session we'll explore how to identify common challenges with students. (Created by Neill Bogie)
Teachers/TAs can list common challenges faced by CYF students
Teachers/TAs can identify when to leave a student to work alone
Work in small groups to name common student challenges, report back to group.
* TODO: link to process for a teacher to follow with code of conduct violations in class (minor or severe). It may come up.
The students might have reasons for...
not doing the homework,
having difficulty concentrating,
lack of interest,
being reticent to speak out in class,
not wanting to identify themselves online,
wanting time to themselves,
being on their phone in class,
irritability or bursts of anger,
... something else that you don't see coming
Here are some possibilities that students may be facing, for you to bear in mind:
(by no means a comprehensive list)
uncertainties about their right to stay in the country
poor current accommodation
uncertain upcoming accommodation
lack of employment opportunities
worries about family members
language and cultural difficulties
recently faced extremely stressful events
kids or other dependants to care for
no suitable study environment (e.g. no quiet, no wifi)
might not have had a good night's sleep
an unstable situation which changes from week to week
Language: English might not be their first, second, or third language. It may also appear fine verbally but weak in reading and writing, or vice versa.
Culture: Culturally, they might not have been previously encouraged to study, to speak out, or to seek employment in tech.
Time: The amount of hours each student has available to study may vary wildly. Compare: a young, healthy student with no right to work, no job, and no dependants vs mother of two young kids, with two jobs
Experience: The level of experience students have had with the material will vary wildly, within a class:
some may have very limited experience with computer basics
some may have studied programming at university level (or even taught related)
some may have done a bootcamp before
Despite these issues
we want to challenge each student to reach their potential
we expect each student to follow the code of conduct
Your role in this
TODO: Generate a group exercise to discuss what attendees think is their role in this context.
As a teacher or teaching assistant it's not your responsibility to investigate or resolve suspected student welfare issues.
Take each student as you find them
bear these possibilities in the back of your mind during your interactions
try to have more patience than you might normally
be sensitive to when your help or attention might not be wanted
avoid comparing effort and output between students
celebrate progress where you find it
treat others as you would yourself be treated
know who you should speak to when you have concerns