It is critically important that teachers engage with students at both primary and secondary level. I suspect that we are in a time when a great deal of student work is about completing assignments, often complex, that may have been minimally covered during class time. It also seems that the administrative pressures put upon teachers mean they are distracted during class time with data recording, computer entry requirements and other ‘justificational and accountability’ activities. This means that teachers too often are in classrooms but at distance from children when it comes to direct teaching, dialogue and interaction. They are distracted by system pressures.

The upshot of this can be student’s assigned significant homework tasks, with that requirement not supported by in class reasoning to ensure that homework is an extension on what has been covered in class. When ‘homework’ is new work, assignment requirements can be very off putting for students. It also places enormous pressure on some parents to actually do the homework for their children.

When major assignments are downloaded from the web and not created by teachers for students, this adds to the disconnection.

Know your students. Listen to them, talk with them and teach them.

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