During my time as a teacher, I have heard this question many, many times. And you know what? I don't think I ever really knew for sure what it was. That's part of the reason I am so excited about this book study. Most of the time I feel as if there is just not enough time in the day to do everything myself. Wouldn't it be great to take something off of my plate and put it on my students' plates? And what if doing that actually benefitted the students more than me? Oh boy...Chapter One definitely got me fired up!
Confession time: I was raised in and still hold a very strong fondness of the traditional, teacher-led classroom. So, doing this will be SUPER HARD for me. I have always struggled with letting go of the reins to my students because...
What if they mess up?
What if they act up?
What if they don't do anything?
What if one student doesn't participate?
What if one student dominates over the other students?
But...I kept coming back to something I read in the introduction of the book. Students need to become risk-takers. How could I ever ask my students to take risks if I'm not willing to do the same? I mean, what might happen?
Actually, they could...
Make their own decisions without consulting me.
Work together in meaningful tasks.
Listen to one another and ask questions without worry.
Take on more responsibility.
Celebrate and encourage one another.
Guide and lead one another.
Work hard for their teacher.
Seriously??? Why wouldn't I want this kind of learning environment? Ultimately, don't I want what's best for them?
I want my students to know that I care immensely about their success, which brings up another excellent point in Solarz's book. He says, "Student-led classrooms are only effective if students feel safe, appreciated, and connected to their teacher." If this is going to work, I also have to make sure that my students know how much I care for them and want them to succeed. I have to be willing to take a risk.
So, here I go. I'm taking the risk. You think you might take the risk, too?
I can't wait to join up again next week when we talk about some of the very questions that went through my head when I started thinking about a student-led classroom. Don't forget to check out some other perspectives on the book study by following some of the links to other blogs below. See you then!
But before you leave...want to win a $50 Target gift card to celebrate the book study? Enter in the giveaway below!