This chapter is all about the concerns teachers will have about implementing a student-led classroom.
As I was reading it, I was thinking that my mind was being read! I definitely had some concerns, and while I didn't have all the concerns that were listed in the book, I did have some.
Here were some of the concerns I had:
But the best part is that teachers still have (what I call) veto power over student choice. That made me feel better, that I'll have the final say.
The next one was letting the students make mistakes. I do point out my mistakes to the students, to help them realize that everyone makes mistakes (and sometimes they catch them before me!), but I sometimes find it hard not to get involved when I see the students make a mistake-I need to take a step back so they can struggle through on their own. They'll be better for it!
With everything else that we have to do, this will require some planning. There may be more time spent initially, but I believe the time put in at the beginning will pay off towards the end-just like anything we do!
You don't have to jump in whole hog-take a step at a time. I often forget towards the end of the year, how long it took for us to get to the point where the kids are super independent. Just like with learning a new skill, we do a little at a time before we're super good at it!
I would have thought that giving the students more choice and freedom would have led to more disruptions-but I was wrong there too! Students actually more engaged and less disruptive. School has become fun again, and they have some power-so power struggles should (hopefully) diminish.
I also had some concerns about the shyer students, who would probably not be as willing to try and be a leader. As someone who is introverted (but not necessarily shy-and there is a difference), I expend most of my energy at school. I can only encourage students to try and take risks-they'll more than likely be happy about it in the end! (Like going to a blogger meet-up-they're a lot of fun!)
Above all, we have to remember that the kids are there to learn and have fun! So if it gets a little noisy, that's ok! :)
Paul also lists the benefits of a student-led classroom-which I love!
Looking at the benefits, it makes so much sense to try and switch-and if it doesn't work, it shows our students that it is important to take risks, and that not all of them pan out.
(Especially where it fits with Danielson-since that's our eval model and worth 80% of my 'effectiveness' rating...)
I'm definitely excited to keep reading, and see where this takes us!
Smiles and Sunshine,