Your Control Comment ...
Note: This page is also used in a different, related PD.
Remember, the section on control was comparing the ideas of 'having a compulsive need to have control' and 'having authentic control' (more natural, less forced).
Share your thoughts and experiences of classroom control.
Some past comments ...
I feel being a teacher is like being a parent to all 30 students at the same time. There is a time for patience, kindness, and firmness. I feel students desire boundaries, structure, and fun. I feel these things create an environment that is based on mutual respect and care. I believe students deserve the right to know that my behaviour will be predictable, reliable, and consistent. However, it is my job to navigate, teach and guide them into a place where we are all taking care of the team collectively, where everyone gets to learn, thrive, and grow. I feel it is important for students to know we are invested in them and their education on the good and tough days.
Absolutely 100% Ange!
Regarding Control: I must confess that in my earlier teaching years I was more 'controlling' but thankfully over my years of teaching I have found that 'control through prepared facilitation' has been more productive and satisfying. I think part was following how I was taught, part was my own attitudes that needed adjusting, and also I think part is due to the traditional approach itself lends to more of a 'controlling' mechanism of governing; whereas viewing a teacher's role as facilitator and seeking student agency doesn't demand a dictator teacher. The fundamental point is that being 'controlling' is not necessary for successful classroom management. Thanks for the thought provoking ideas and the importance of personal internal reflection.
Well Said Jared
I agree, compulsive control stifles engagement and prohibits agency. Without agency, students are likely to participate reluctantly and walk away with a compromised understanding.
Samuel, that's a big fat nail hit right on the head! Well said.
I promised myself when I shifted careers and became a teacher that I would never be like the Math teacher I had (lecture - notes - exercises - test). The right balance between control and agency, involves a lot of cultural changes that requires a lot of alignment from all the stakeholders (SMT, department, students, parents, teachers, etc). From my point of view, this is why it takes a lot of time and requires a strong alignment, specially to avoid misjudgement on evaluations from all parts (SMT - Teachers, Teachers - Pupils, Pupils - Teachers, Parent - Teachers, etc). I am personally working hard to find a structure that can help me find the best balance between control and agency. I hope as I move on and learn more here, I can improve the ways I approach the conceptual understanding on my lessons, in a way the students can lead their learning and development. I surely will use the table from this module as a guide for a self evaluation. Am I really doing things differently or I am faling on the trap to be the teacher I promised myself I would never be? :)
Alexandre, you are not failing because you are willing to change, and change is a journey. Lean on Anja and the team and stay tuned ... lots more coming.
Having genuine control, for me, is understanding that learners think differently and having the confidence to embrace that idea within the classroom. Encouraging diversity of thought and valuing the different ways in which mathematical problems can be solved enriches learning.
Nicely Said, Will.