After many years of circumstantial evidence Year 4 teacher, Ms Jacqui Kenny, has confirmed what many Everyday P-12 Teachers firmly believe: the students that arrive back in class first after ignoring instructions not to run, complete the least amount of work.
‘After PE, Art or assembly, I’ll say walk back to the classroom but there’s always a handful of kids that take off as soon as they get around a corner,’ said Ms Kenny. ‘Back in class their faces are red, they’re breathing heavily and I’ll ask if they ran and they’ll say no.’
It’s as if they think their work is done for the day because they beat the teacher and other students back to the classroom.
Ms Kenny explains that this is when the issue begins. ‘We’ll start our work and the students who raced back to class will get nothing done. It’s as if they think their work is done for the day because they beat the teacher and other students back to the classroom.’
The inquisitive teacher even logged data on the students who raced and the amount of work they completed during the following lesson compared to the non-racers. ‘There was a significant correlation. The students who raced completed very minimal work.’
But are these racers the students who would fail to complete work irrespective of their arrival position to class? ‘I thought about that,’ said Ms Kenny. ‘To validate my research I began sending my top students back to class a few minutes early. Towards the end of assembly I’d get one of them to drop something in the office and tell them to meet us back in the classroom, then I examined the amount of work they completed. The results were amazing. The top students’ work level dropped right off but only for the subsequent lesson.’
And this is the end of the experiment? ‘No,’ said Ms Kenny. ‘I intend to investigate why these students race back to class. I mean, they’re not getting there so they can get all their work done, that’s for sure. By determining their motives I may be able to find a solution.’
I intend to investigate why these students race back to class. I mean, they’re not getting there so they can get all their work done, that’s for sure.
When asked how she intends to achieve this, Ms Kenny replied. ‘I intend to race back to the classroom and beat all the students. Theoretically they should all then produce a sufficient amount of work. Of course this strategy may backfire and lead to me completing hardly any work myself but that’s the risk intrepid researchers take in the name of education.’