Week one, spring is here, the building is hot, field trips are coming up. Despite all of the distractions, no detentions, no referrals. There were a few conversations regarding behavior, but that’s it. I asked a student who was being loud and nasty to leave, sent him to talk to an administrator - he could come back when he apologized and promised to act better. That was the consequence - apologize, act better. Which he did. I did not write it up.
Classrooms should be student centered. To the casual observer this might look like the teacher not doing much. To the knowledgeable observer, they would see a lot going on.
First, there is a great deal more planning that goes into a student centered classroom. You can’t assign a few book pages and some questions and give a lecture. Students learn through exploring, investigating, questioning, thinking, discussing, writing, doing. The teacher, once the lesson is set up, facilitates, guides, assists, redirects, answers questions, provides resources, provides feedback. A student centered classroom is busy, often noisy, sometimes chaotic. Sure a student can get off task. So can all those docile little souls sitting at their desks. Did you really think every student was rapt with attention while the teacher was lecturing, or that they see the textbook as a “page turner”?
I want them to “get it”. I want them to have fun. I want them to remember what they did. I want them to be able to make connections. I want them to understand that, whatever the circumstances, it is the student who is in charge of their education, their learning. Not me. I’m here to help.
Learning should be fun. Classrooms should be cool places to be. Teachers should be an adult the student can trust. I remember those days, a long time ago. We need to get back there, one classroom at a time.
Did you have fun in school today?