The last few weeks in FE can be, dare I say, a little stressful. Although that can depend on your attitude towards the less capable of your students and the poor attendees. We are now at that stage where we are running out of time with the above students and so 1-1’s and extra lessons are paramount to their success and indeed our success. Personally I like to concentrate on their success, in industry I always maintained that you didn’t need a monetary plan for success. If you did a good job, looked after your customers interests and had some integrity you would succeed and hence make money. I apply the same thesis to teaching, let them know that you are there for them and it is their success that is important.
Last week one of my less capable students had an exam. The appointment stated he had a reader and 25% extra time. This gave me cause for reflection. If a student requires 25% extra time to complete an exam why doesn’t same student have 25% extra time in practical/theory lessons? You could say that compensation week is just that, but it’s not. Compensation week is a week tagged on at the end whereas 25% of all practical/theory lessons is 81 hours. You could say that it is the students responsibility to do extra studying in their own time to compensate. You could say that; if you had never had any contact with these students. In reality it can be a challenging task to get them to study during class time. You could say that it is the teachers responsibility to identify extra needs and then instigate extra teaching time. But, there are only so many teaching hours in a day and even the best FS maths teacher hasn’t found a way to fit a pint into a half pint glass.
What I am suggesting here would be difficult but, there could be ways around it. We have found ways to include directed study/enrichment/tutorials and employability, which are responsible for 144 hours or 25% of my entire course.
So, my question is: If we give students that struggle with the subject matter 25% extra time to complete an exam why don’t we give them 25% extra time to learn the subject matter in the first place?