Oh ME ME ME!

eager-studentThe eager student, the puppy dog, or the “over participator” as described in Faculty Focus’s 10 effective classroom management techniques (I’m beginning to sound like I get paid commission by FF, sorry). However you describe the student who has their arm up for every question, this individual must be managed with due care and attention. You can sense their eagerness from three classrooms away, you can feel them fidgeting before the question is even formulated and then BOOM, with eye contact you can feel burning in the side of your head, the over-participator has an answer or input to every question you pose. How do you deal with this? After spending your entire career attempting to motivate and engage students, the positive learning environment could be crushed with ease here but all students deserve to have an equal chance to participate wouldn’t you agree? Truth is, I don’t have the answer, my tact is to be appreciative of their motivation and return with a higher order question which challenges them further. I do sometimes ask that questions are left to the end but this is mainly because I have a tendency to take tangents when discussion is initiated which then draws me away from the learning objectives…I like to talk, you may have noticed.

You could also reduce the amount of questions directed to the group as a collective. Design the lesson in such a way that the questions you would normally become tasks for smaller group work…very often the over-participator is also searching for positive feedback. If they are not answering the teachers question directly, they may be more inclined to discuss their opinions with others.

Whatever your approach, proceed with caution…The ego is a very fragile thing!

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