Handling Students vs. Handling People

Disclaimer: I don’t do perfect english πŸ˜…

I taught in the academe for 4 years and the journey is somewhat challenging, unpredictable and fun. Challenging because as an educator, our primary goal is to give and deliver the lesson to students and to be easily absorbed by them, unpredictable – there are many types of students you can encounter in one class, we just don’t know what will be the learning outcome. And fun – if you love teaching and you have the passion of doing it, then you’ll be happy and you will enjoy doing it, plus the interaction between you and your students during general discussions.

Let me enumerate what I do in class:

  1. Always prepare for the day’s topic and discussion.
  2. Avoid looking at reference materials during formal discussion.
  3. Class masterlist, or index cards with their name should always available when needed.
  4. At the end of discussion, initiate class interaction via Q&A, trivia’s etc.
  5. In case no one raises questions (and tells you that they understand the lesson well), initiate an on-the-spot oral recitation. (this is when no. 3 becomes useful)
  6. In case students misbehaved during formal discussion, you can initiate:
    1. a graded recitation.
    2. a surprise quiz

Depending on the situation, if the students has repeated misbehavior and didn’t focus on the discussion, you can repeat no. 6 and choose between the coverage of exam: whether the topics covered are discussed or for future discussion.

At the end of the day if you initiate surprise graded recitation or quiz, tell them why you do that so they will not do it again (misbehavior) in future.

Spoiler Alert: If the exam or recitation coverage is for future discussion, it is not actually recorded.

Well as it turns out, I see it effective in delivering the lessons to students as well as keeping them disciplined during discussions.

Always prepare for the day’s topic and discussion, and avoid looking at reference materials during formal discussions

On early days of each semester, I always show my terror side specially if it is the first time I handled that class. This is to develop “authority” to students. And to the student’s point of view, a kind of “fear” will develop towards the teacher/educator.

But “fear” alone is not the ideal atmosphere inside classrooms. During discussions it should not always be in “serious mode”, you should also inject some humors, this will ease some tensions and pressure in absorbing huge chunk of knowledge. We should also try to understand the situation of the students, ask for their feedbacks or opinions, resolve conflicts and give considerations. Thru this, they will give you respect (But make it balanced and maintain your authority)

Fear alone is not enough, it should be combined with “respect”

During COVID-19 Pandemic

We are all badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. To me, this caused me to leave the academe. Reasons includes conflicting schedule to my full time job (as software developer) and additional workloads.

On the other hand, I was recently given the OIC position to the company I’m currently employed with. It was a game changer.

On my first three months, I would say it was also challenging, unpredictable and fun, but they don’t have the same weight. Unpredictability is the heaviest, followed by the how challenging it is, then fun as the last and the least.

In a company, we have our own job descriptions, duties, responsibilities and deliverables. But as a department head, you’ll also handling people, assigning tasks to them, monitoring them, encouraging them and advising them. Working together to deliver and fulfill the mission and vision of the department to the company and to other departments as well.

Handling people is also challenging, unpredictable and fun, but they don’t have the same weight

It is not possible to not encounter conflicts with the same team members or other departments. Conflicts should not be taken personally and should be resolved as soon as possible. After all, we are all employed people and working for the good of the company.

Let us focus to fulfill our duties and responsibilities for the company we are currently employed with, and build good relationships to other employees as well, not conflicts.

I am currently building a huge application software. Stay tuned for the next blog posts.
Thank you for reading.

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