Monday, September 28, 2009

My dream classroom

As you all know, perhaps, based on my posts, I am a teacher. If you want to see my classroom, go here. Last night, I couldn't fall asleep. I was thinking about a lot of things - the test I should have written this weekend, the color of our new bedroom, the fact that I couldn't breathe out of my nose... As I was trying to fall asleep, a scene popped into my head. I had been thinking about a class discussion my honors kids had last week. I was troubled because I knew we were behind coming into this week because we spent 45 minutes last week discussing current events and didn't get all the notes taken for Weather, meaning we were taking them to day and they wouldn't be able to all present their projects today. This troubled me because I like to be able to control every bit of the classroom (one article I read said that teachers chose their profession because they are control freaks) and controlling our timeline definitely falls under that.

As I was thinking about this discussion, the scene that came into my head was what I'd classify as my ideal classroom. In this scene, there were about 20 kids and their desks were in a circle. I was sitting on top of a desk in the circle, cross legged (my favorite way to sit in the classroom because I'm comfortable, higher than everyone, but look like I'm relating to my kids).

We were discussing current events but were relating it back to geography and history. I wasn't lecturing, I wasn't even leading the discussion - they had been given a topic, a few articles to read, and were talking about it as a group. I was asking pressing questions to stimulate the discussion at times but mostly was taking notes on who was saying what. The kids were really into it and enjoyed it.

The reason I share this is because I feel that my vision of my classroom is how I ultimately want to teach. I know it isn't feasible right now - the kids I teach need structure, they don't have the materials to research topics on their own, and we are so standards based that I can't take a day to teach current events every so often. BUT ultimately, I'd like to incorporate this style of teaching into my toolkit because it is student lead and really puts the responsibility in their hands. There is a class called "Contemporary Issues" at school that I would really like to teach. I think my background is well suited for this course. Maybe I could try that technique there if I taught the class?

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