I prefer to write, so I am not going to speak!

Many times we face the challenge of, what is called, our students’ confrontational behavior. I mean that when we ask them to do something they are not comfortable at doing it, they would shut down. This is truth for many students in all schools, but I disagree that this is a confrontational behavior. From my experience working with many different types of learners, I realized that what it can be perceived as a behavioral attitude, it is just the way students process and understand the information that is given.

For students who are extroverted and well spoken,  many times writing is their weakness. On the other hand, for students who are introvert, passionate at writing or working with coding or computer designing, speaking is their biggest challenge. So, when we have these differences into consideration when we are assessing students, we are DIFFERENTIATING!

Some techniques we might want to try in the classroom are:

  • Pair up students who are good at speaking and good at writing. They will be a great team as they both have different skills!
  • Give student who are not willing to participate orally in class the opportunity to submit written work after class or in google classroom. 
  • Encourage all students by praising all type of skills. Do not focus only on those who speak in class or those who are always raising their hands. Something I do is to choose a note taker per class and another student who read the notes for the entire class. 
  • When giving group assignments, remember to group all kind of learners in each group. Sometimes is easier to give them a role for each member of the group.

Finally, remember that students, even more in High School, struggle socially more than academically. When noticing that students are not being themselves, it is also part of differentiating. I would love to hear some feedback regarding this topic. Perhaps, something that you might want to share. Thanks!


2 thoughts on “I prefer to write, so I am not going to speak!

  1. Majo,
    It is a pleasure to find out that teachers at all levels are taking into account the student’s point of view. Sometimes fear simply takes hold of the situation, or child, and prevents them from showing what they really know or can do!! Although elementary school may have different techniques, the purpose is the same. Teachers must somehow get into the students’ shoes, and try to feel what they feel in order to find which strategy might spark their learning. We all have different needs, strengths and weaknesses: we are HUMAN. Therefore, differentiation is the only way we may unlock each one of these areas and help students move forward! I am at the other end, in first grade, and even students at this level struggle with many issues. One of them is simply “a first time for everything”. They may not know what to expect, and that creates a lot of anxiety. The point is, I’m glad we are all on the same boat, going in the same direction, finding different ways to support the students!! Thank you for sharing!!


  2. There is and interesting concept in pedagogy called “epistemophilical conflict”. We tend to think that when a student shuts down is simply because he or she doesn’t like the Subject (epistemological conflict), but many times the problem has to do with not wanting to learn something because it reminds us of a situation that our subconscious rejects. For instance, many students shut down in Argentine History class as a reaction to the fact that they are homesick.
    And the solution is as simple as allowing them to make as many connections as possible with their own History.


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