Goal for the week: effective use of seating in the classroom. How's that going for me? Yeah, not so hot. Today is a half day so I'm missing over half of my student population. What does that mean in reality? It means that there aren't any real discipline issues because most of the kids that are causing the problems aren't here.
I've been trying a lot of different strategies as a teacher to really try and feel out what works best for me. I take night courses to work on my Masters in Education a few nights a week and in those classes I get exposed to a lot of different ideas and ways of doing things in a classroom. I try to be a good student and a good teacher and try a lot of different approaches with the philosophy that I can't say I don't like it until I've tried it.
My final perspective on this is that although it's good to try new things I really need to remember why I do this. I *need* to have fun in my class or I hate my work. I've been coming into work (and I've been thinking of it as work and not fun) for the past two weeks trying to get the kids organized and doing college level stuff. I've been worrying about grammar, turning in stuff on time, organization, seating charts, and all this other nonsense that gets in the way.
Yes, those have their place. Everything in a classroom needs a PROCEDURE so the kids know how to do and how to expect things. That is the teachers responsibility to set up. However, I will not and cannot teach in the "old school" style where the students sit and learn from a book while the teacher walks around the room and talks. I just can't. It's not me. I've tried to do that for two weeks because I got it into my head that kids that learned in my class wouldn't thrive at college with what I was teaching them.
Here's my worry: I teach very outside the box. I like games, music, creativity, silliness, pictures, dancing, and student autonomy. I don't care about latework. All student work is marked "M" for "missing" on my gradesheets until they get it in to me, because it's missing. I'd rather get their work and accurately reflect their knowledge.
I think students should have extreme schedules but that all learning should be as fun as possible, RELEVANT TO THEIR LIVES, and promoting educated citizens of the world.
Blah. I'll work out the kinks in my classroom style, but in the mean time I need to remember Shakespear. "To thine own self be true."