A teacher’s role in a classroom is to teach students and make sure they understand the curriculum. A student’s role is to absorb and understand the material. Asking and answering questions in class is an intimidating experience, especially when some teachers want regular and high levels of participation.
Sticker cards, in Spanish classes at Leesville, help with participation issues. The sticker cards encourage students to raise their hands to ask questions or give answers. Although the cards help with participation issues, students must acquire a certain amount of stickers by the end of the quarter for a grade. This can become a problem for the students who are uncomfortable to speak out loud.
Raising a hand is difficult for the shy students at Leesville. It is hard to take the initiative to become a hand raiser due to internal struggles. If teachers are seeking more participation, there are other ways to beat classroom introvertness without ambushing a student who doesn’t raise their hand or letting them sit in complete silence and confusion, hence the sticker cards purpose.
“[Most don’t raise their hands] because they are shy, timid and don’t like it when people notice their confusion,” said Will Floyd, a student at Leesville. The motivation to raise hands involves internal and external forces. “The teachers make it completely fine to be able to raise your hand; they actually encourage people to do so. It [becomes] your responsibility to ask for help,” said Floyd.
Maddy Saylor, a student at Leesville, is a non-hand raiser. “I don’t like when [teachers] call on me, without my hand being raised,” said Saylor. She believes it has to do with participation and thinks the sticker system is better than throwing students on the spot when they are sitting in silence.
“My Spanish teacher gives out stickers when you raise your hand or answer questions so that motivates me. [The sticker cards] kinda help because everyone is going to answer a question wrong at some point,” said Saylor.
If teachers strive for more participation, the sticker cards are the way to go but, a teacher must establish at the beginning of the semester the importance of the cards and encourage the asking or answering of questions. The only way to beat shyness is to instil in the minds of students that mistakes are okay, they are rewarded for participating.