How do teachers deal with sleeping students

The sentence sounds banal, a matter of course, but it has it all: It depends on the teacher. That is the essence of the famous Hattie study. When the New Zealander John Hattie presented eleven years ago what he had found out in a decade and a half of educational research, he provoked the educational world: it is not the class size, not the financial resources of the schools, not the learning techniques, not even parental support, staying seated or remedial hours that make a loud decision Hattie about how much students are studying. A gigantic data set of 50,000 individual studies flowed into his analysis, and the bottom line was that the researcher concluded: The greatest differences in learning progress are not evident from school to school, but from class to class - between students from different teachers.

What lessons bring to the students therefore depends less on external structures than on the teacher personality. Anyone who was lucky enough to get a good math teacher after a bad math teacher and suddenly write three instead of five can confirm this. The same math book, the same tutoring, the same classmates, nothing has changed - except for the person in front. Who can explain well because he is able to see his own lessons through the eyes of the pupil. Who does not hold his listeners responsible if they do not understand something, but themselves.

A good teacher is an asset; a bad teacher is a disadvantage. A good teacher gives courage, a bad one discourages. Teachers can spark passions, awaken dormant talents, instill self-confidence - or do the opposite of all of these. They can be heroes, tormentors or sad characters. Their power is not to be underestimated.

No wonder that we not only meet them in real life, but also where people process their lives: in books, films and comics. The strict teacher Lämpel, who Max and Moritz put shotgun powder in the meerschaum pipe, really existed; he lived in the place where Wilhelm Busch was sent for upbringing when he was nine years old. The screenwriter Tom Schulman was also inspired by his school days when he wrote "The Dead Poets Club". The club, a student's suicide: fiction. But John Keating, played by Robin Williams, has his role model in the English teacher who once inspired Schulman.

Even Headmaster Skinner has the traits of teachers who had no idea that two of their students would later write for the television series "The Simpsons". And who knows, maybe Minerva McGonagall isn't entirely made up either. After all, she has a gift that characterizes all good teachers: teaching students how to transform themselves. Someone who is getting a little smarter every day.

Susanne Klein