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SCHOOL STORIES My former teacher did not always have an easy time with our class, because the class participation was often very low. I also had my share, after all, history was never one of my favourite subjects. But meanwhile I have found a way to come to terms with this subject.
When I’m thinking back to how the history lessons went a few years ago, I can only shake my head. I still see the picture clearly before my eyes: Our history teacher, who wanted to lead us to historical knowledge by asking specific questions. We, who looked at her with an unsuspecting look, because our thinking was not able to grasp historical connections. Silence in the whole room. Only now and then the clatter of a fallen fountain pen. Oh yes … good old times!
All beginnings are hard
Although there were a few pupils who occasionally took part in the lessons orally, a constructive discussion in the classroom practically never occurred. It didn’t take long for the majority of the girls in our class to become known for simply being there, but trying to avoid any kind of class participation. The “Please-ignore-me!-princesses” were pretty much the opposite of what our teacher, who happened to be our class teacher, probably wanted from us students. I also belonged to this group, although everything in me is actually reluctant to call myself that. But out of insecurity and fear of saying something wrong, my finger mostly stayed down.
Oral participation is so important! You don’t know why? Click here.
Some years passed. My knowledge of history grew linearly, while my participation in lessons only slowly improved. From a Please-ignore-me!-princess I became a mediocre student, who struggled with difficulty to reach the limit of grade 1, but then mostly missed it. I had got used to this subject, but I could not really overcome my inner blockade. My concerns grew, because our teacher kept emphasizing that the demands in this subject would be even greater at the higher classes. How, I wondered, should I ever get an A in a history class paper?
Hard work pays off
Now, in 12th class my relationship to this subject has improved dramatically. Although the demands are high, the fact that I am used to this level from our history teacher in the years before (in this sense: thank you very much!) means that I have no problems with my new teacher. Of course, the 60 minutes I have to spend per week at home for this subject – a good lesson preparation has its price – is extremely annoying. But I really have to admit that my knowledge of history has rarely been as profound as it is now.
Now, completely focused on a good high school diploma, I am intensively engaged with the topics, take project work seriously and fight my way through group work to some extent. This is reflected not only in good to very good written results, but above all in my oral participation. I can have a say and often know what our new history teacher is getting at before he says it. I am proud of an exam in which I scored 14 points (this corresponds to a well-founded A), although I myself believe that I have only written down a hopeless mess. But: 14 points are 14 points.
Today, I find it almost ridiculous that I was happy to be called once an hour. I wouldn’t call myself a history genius, but 5 years ago I would never have thought that I could handle history so well. And I never want to miss this feeling of ‘history knowledge’ again.