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Justin_Vail, 10 months ago | Flag
Hey Mark, I agree there needs to be more mutual respect in the classroom.
I think another issue is the sense of community. The quickest way to alienate people and get off on the wrong foot is telling them what they can't do. How would you feel about a roommate that gives you a tour of your future home while listing all the things that YOU are not allowed to do. I like to start the year by touring my websites, talking about how the class is different than most classes, and finish with an exchange of expectatio ns: what I expect from them, and what they should expect from me. Great post.
Michael_Fisher, 10 months ago | Flag
I often think of (and still professionally reference) both Harry Wong and William Purkey. The "controller," "the rule-maker," or "the enforcer" disinvite students from learning. In this day and age, the classroom focus should be on deep learning and engagement--both of which are adversely affected by rules.
Should there be order in the classroom? Should it be managed? Absolutely. But that is what teaching procedures is all about. There is a procedure for actions and they should be collaboratively created, modeled and practiced.
Our neighbor, when I was growing up, was a man named Walter Safrit. One day, he walked up behind to tell me not to pick the daffodils in his yard. He didn't say it in a controlling or mean-spirited way. He said, "Daffodils are bulbs. If you pick them, the plant dies. What you need to do is cut them."
He continued, "cut some, but be careful of the bulb." I wasn't being admonished. I was being taught. Every word was a kind one.
We need more kindness in education. We need more invitation. Thank you for your thoughtful post.