mail this InsideTeaching entry to a friend
26 January 2005: Who's in Charge Here? (4 of 4)
Oh, if it were only as easy in practice as it is in a blog. Like I said, I like to be in charge. Most teachers do. My solution, though, is to monitor my own teaching style. Instead, I try to capitalize on that place where my students can learn from each other, books, and experiences and limit that place where I expect them to learn from me. And in my experience, this is one of the fundamental difficulties of learning where I learn and teaching where I teach. My experience is that the kind of people who choose to be teachers are very often the kind of people who like to be in charge. So, what kind of things can teachers be in charge of while still empowering their students? Be in charge of classroom morale. Be in charge of seating arrangements, because there are some things that teachers just know better. Be in charge of training students to succeed. Be in charge of representing your students to the site and district administration (but let the students help). Do these things, but challenge yourself to allow students to be in charge of every decision they are qualified to make.