Happy Thursday friends!!! Today is the end of the school week for me yay (8 more days of summer school left)! Woooo! So on to today's topic from Chapter 2 of Learn Like A Pirate, Common Concerns About Student-Led Classrooms.
I will begin like Paul did with this very appropriate quote:
Changing your classroom mindset to a Student-Led Classroom is going to cause concerns. People may question your role since you are allowing students to "take over." Well, change has to begin some where! I am hoping to begin the change with my classroom.
I have taken ~teeny tiny~ steps towards a student-led classroom (I think, lol). This past year, I ran my reading block as a workshop style (1st year in 2nd grade, so I was learning along with my kiddos). Basically, students were responsible for completing a certain quantity of activities by Friday when they turned in their workshop activities. While they were working on these activities, I would call my small groups and struggling students to my table. This would allow ample time for students to work on their skills individually and for me to work with groups. My students were definitely independent and knew their responsibilities. They were also in charge of their timer, their supplies, partners, etc. However, I did struggle with leaving them on-their-own, PLUS it took a few weeks for them to get the hang of it.
That brings me to the concerns a teacher might have when thinking about a student-led classroom. I will not go over all of them from the chapter, just two that really stood out to me.
One concern that sparked my interest was:
"I'm worried about giving up control to my students."
YES, that is definitely a worry. At the beginning of this past year, I worried. Will they be on task? Will they know what to do if _____? Does this fit their learning style? How will they react if ____? Then I realized, in order for students to grow, they need to take risks. What better way for them to take risks than in the comfortable environment of their classroom?
Another concern that caught my attention was:
"But, won't my room get loud?"
I know as teachers we want to have that perfect discipline: when an administrator walks in, our class should be orderly, quiet, and all students should be where their supposed to.....rarely does that happen. Learning and discovery are noisy! Check out this quote from Paul Solarz: "Because I have loud, active, motivated students, what I don't have are sleepy, zoned-out children." Which students do you prefer?
There are plenty of concerns and worries about the student-led classroom; however, as Paul suggests, take a risk! Your students deserve the best possible learning experience! Until next time friends!