I feel that boundaries are in the arms of the beholder…some students need you to open up more when you eye in on the problem; other’s want you to be hands-off. I’ve seen some teacher’s rule with force and you could say this is enforcing morals: sit down, stay in your seat, be quiet. But I’ve never been in the military and wake up too late to ever TO be…so in my room I think listening is key. If a kid’s talking…well what’s he saying? Is it imporant enough to be a personal problem that’s getting in the way. What if he can’t move on unless you address it. I’ve put up the Parking Lot poster on my wall before, but sometimes it just doesnt work. I want my student’s to connect. If I ‘m listeing to them AND their problems, finding maybe a link to my lesson with those, I usually get what I want. I think most teachers would agree that we start off with a standard lesson, with high hopes that it will follow through like it’s (we hope it’s) supposed to…but sometimes it meanders and we all go down a different way with it. I think, teaching is about being open to where a lesson goes and being functional enough to bend its corners so that everyone has a good time and takes something from it. Before Gloria Steinem got up to speak for my college’s liberal art’s forum, she asked US what we felt about her topics…THEN she spoke about them (with our interests in mind)…I’m not a control freak…I think some teachers are…I think that’s the first rule of thumb that needs to be BENT, not done away with, when you step into a classroom…if a gardiner can have a kind of thumb, we can too..It can go up when we’ve accomplished a goal, and we can pull it down when its okay, but our lessons aren’t going smooth as they should be. I ‘ve run into different teachers more than once who were doing really hands on lessons, and while holding my lesson, I scribbled down everything they had to say and added it to what we did for that class. I know its not perfect, but other teachers have GREAT ideas…even if you have the meat of your lesson and you hear another idea from a teacher down the hall, use it! Kids aren’t perfect and neither are we…wouldn’t you rather add more to your lesson rather than skimp less cause it wasn’t organized enough? Sometimes…more is better too.
Robert Pirsig on Zen and the Art of Motorcycle… Mr WordPress on John Updike