This all started with last Friday. It was a normal day in the room, class is talking about usual while I am trying to teach (I still need a lot of improvement on my classroom management). The way that I teach is probably not conventional. I am teaching algebra 1 with multiplying binomials three different ways right now. The first is distributing, the second is F.O.I.L. and the third is the area (lattice) model. (I know three different ways can confuse kids but I do emphasize that they know all three but choose one that they like the best and "ignore" the others) There are three primary reasons why the students dislike me in this particular hour

1) I write their homework assignment in set notation (actually all hours dislike me for this). This stops the students that shouldn't be working on the homework during the lesson from actually working on it unless they take time out of their day to actually learn set notation. I don't go too crazy with it just (n,xez: 0<x<25, x=2n-1) stuff like that. I teach the students that are receiving an A- or better how to read this notation or tell them the homework if they ask for it ahead of time. That way they are able to work on it once they understand the topic being taught and not have to wait till the end to get their homework. I find this helps with boredom of those students who would otherwise end up being a classroom management problem. The students HATE that I do this. But I was seeing too many students working on homework that should be paying attention in class.

2) When they give answers to problems, I do not say which one is right. I get all the different answers students found for the problem and then we evaluate and analyze which one is actually the correct solution (if even up there). WAIT! YOU MEAN STUDENTS ACTUALLY HAVE TO THINK AT HIGHER LEVELS OF BLOOM'S TAXONOMY IN YOUR CLASS! The answer is yes, yes they do. They also hate this how I will not just tell them which answer is right. I will admit this does take more time in class, but I feel it is worth it. This way the students actually find their mistakes by discussing each answer. I act more like a moderator and guide the discussion the students have.

3) The last reason why students do not like the way that I teach is due to the fact that if the talking gets out of hand, I will just silently wait until the talking ends. Usually I plan a lesson that is going to take around 35 to 40 minutes, that way I have some time to give in my 60 minute class for questions and problems that come up during the lesson. If everything goes smoothly and it actually takes less time than the students can get up to 30 minutes of work time for homework. If they talk then they eat up this time very quickly. Just Friday it took 15 minutes for me to write 1-9 all 10-26 even for their homework because they could not quit talking. All I needed was 20 seconds of silence and it would have been written. They HATE that I do this and make them actually allow me to talk without having to raise my voice. Is this punishing some of those that are sitting there silently, yes, and I do feel bad for those ones that are. I have wrote the assignment down and those that are quiet walk over to them and show them what it is so they can begin to work on it.

This is why the students today told me I was a bad teacher, because I have these practices. Does this really make me a bad teacher? I don't feel that it does. I think some of these students are use to just being told how to do everything and now are being forced on their own to judge what is correct and what way of solving problems they like best. It is not just regurgitation of algorithms but actually analyzing and evaluating of different approaches and different solutions.

But then again I could be crazy and this actually could be poor practices. Let me know what you think! Trust me I may get knocked down, but I get up again ;)