Criticisms of scaffolding and remembering of names in the Classroom

As an open minded teacher I leave the door wide open for criticisms of my teaching methods. I listen in and out of class to students and their opinions, and I make liberal use of course evaluations. In the last two weeks I have had two criticisms of my teaching, both from the same person. I have stewed on them since I heard them, wondering if they were legitimate concerns, if I should change my classes, and if so, how.

The student who made these criticisms is in one of my Community College classes. Her first suggestion was that I use less Japanese. (The tone of her suggestion was actually stronger than a suggestion.) She is new to the program, and in my class description I explain that this class is for people who want to learn English but are struggling. I have used both English and Japanese, hoping to employ just the right amount of scaffolding for the majority of students. Their levels vary, so I try to vary my level of scaffolding from student to student in individual interactions.

Conclusion:  I will not change my policy, as the people who have been enrolled in this class have attended faithfully for years now, and are making progress in their individual ways.

The second criticism was that I tend not to remember names. Her suggestion being that Japanese names were probably difficult for me to remember. I have met this person three times since April. She has attended around half of the classes so far, and in addition to the new names in this class, I have the names of around 150 new students, who attend far more regularly, from three different countries.

Conclusion: I am right on track with remembering names, and the nationality of the student is not an issue.


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