Lazy teaching: when the students do all the work…

I’ve been teaching for 17 years and one thing that I see is that I’m always the first one out the teacher’s room as soon as classes finish. Why?


First I smugly thought it was because I was more organised than the others, but after years of watching my colleagues cutting papers, correcting exams and preparing lessons it dawned on me that I might just be a lot lazier than them.  I didn’t prepare my lessons (I kind of always prepared what I’d do on the way to school), I certainly didn’t correct homework (didn’t give any) or exams (they’d correct it themselves) and least of all, I certainly didn’t cut up activities for them to do.

But could lazy teaching be good for learning? Well actually YES….


1. Most learning is done by doing –

So when Students create their own exercises (no cutting or preparing for you) they learn the new vocab and understand the purpose of the exercise (for exams it gives them the examiner’s perspective)


2. It develops their autonomy –

Give Jim a fish and he eats for a day, teach him to fish he will eat for ever … 

For instance when correcting their own exams, Students become aware of their own needs and naturally become more curious. Yes of course they can cheat, but at the end of the day the purpose of the test is to give them an insight of their own level !


 3. It’s student-centered –

When correcting themselves (you write their mistakes on the board and they work in pairs), they focus on their own mistakes and therefore it becomes more interesting and perfectly tailored to their needs.


4. Less to do for the teacher –

Less talking, less cutting papers up and less correcting.




Carmina Catena

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