I run a gaming club at school (D&D specifically,) that is made up of various 5th-8th graders. Currently there are about 5 girls to the 3 boys which is awesome! But also not the point of this post.
While in gaming club I asked the 7th graders how they liked Social Studies this year. I taught them last year and I was dying to know! Their answer,
” We miss you so much! Your class was awesome! But your tests were hard.”
Which got me thinking. Being liked as a teacher is a plus, but it usually gets you to thinking why. Do they like you because you’re easy, or funny, or, hopefully, a good teacher? There’s always a questions mark there that leaves you wondering. As human beings we want to compare ourselves to others. It doesn’t matter what field of work you’re in or where you live, we are constantly comparing our looks, possessions, success, and happiness with others around us. Social media makes it so much harder to be an individual when you have a constant barrage of others thoughts and ideas.
I’m not saying it’s impossible to be an individual or even that it’s a bad thing. Some people like to blend in with the crowd and that’s ok, but we do compare ourselves to others. We just do. It’s how we make ourselves better. (Or in some cases worse.)
Which is why when I found out that the 7th grade girls not only loved having me as a teacher but that they still missed me even though I gave difficult tests, I felt like I did my job in educating them. My goal is always to make social studies and history fun but if I can make them think and leave a lasting impression, that’s even better.
So if your tests are difficult, GOOD FOR YOU! Make them think! Make them solve problems! Make them work for their knowledge! Because I don’t know about you, but I really don’t want to be solving the worlds problems 40 years from now when I’m old and mental. It’s their turn then.