What are we missing if we do not have a lesson underneath a lesson?
Every time I think about my classes and how I am preparing,I try to think about what I am really trying to teach these students.Am I trying to teach them how to work together or to become more independent?Am I trying to get them to listen to what I am saying and retain their attention?Am I trying to teach them to be prepared,confident presenting,or timely?What is my objective of this lesson and where does it begin?
There should always be a hidden lesson.I may be teaching students subjects content,how to spell cat or to recite the ABC’s,but I always find what is the lesson underneath the lesson more important.Primary school students,especially 1st or 2nd grade students are new to a school setting and,unless they have sibling or close relatives around their ages,being around other young learners.Until this point,life has been about them and our duty is to look beyond the ABCs.For that matter,this applies to any stage of education.Our role is to prepare them for school and social encounters.Our job is to get them to work together and be patient with themselves and others.
The best way we can do this with students at such an early age is persistence and patience,but it is not always easy.The reward of being a teacher is heart filled moment when you see your students grow as individuals.When you see a student come out of their shell and improve in class,academically and morally,you know you are achieving the hidden lesson.
A hidden lesson can go as the following,students are assigned group work,for instance creating poster about‘Cause and Effect together.The main lesson is showing the understanding of cause and effect,but the hidden lesson is for students to develop their communication and team working skills.Students have to allocate what contribution each member of the team makes to complete the assignment.Some students will struggle with this more than others,but here how to resolve disagreement and conflict can also be addressed as part of the hidden lesson.
You may have moments of relapse and have to find the right‘tough love’method for students to obtain these lessons,but your persistence will pay off.Having an extra parent meeting,talking with the students for them to understand the hidden lesson or praise for personal achievements,beyond academic achievement goes miles.Remind yourself you are not the only person in the equation teaching these hidden lessons.Encourage the parents,the most important teachers these students will ever have,the hidden lesson will forever be more important than cramming in the periodic table or getting the perfect score on their academic test.
Don’t forget the hidden lesson.Every teacher should have one.