The Classroom Vibe
Relationships, relationships–everything in teaching depends on the relationship between you and the learner.
The links below show some of my thoughts and strategies for setting a tone that leads to mutual respect and encourages learners to engage in classroom activities.
Advice about Giving Advice–Don’t!
Refusing to give advice to learners accomplishes three things: it makes the power difference between teacher and learner smaller; it prevents you from acting on your assumptions; and it gives the learner a chance for real-life critical thinking. (video: 11:22 min.)
Building Strong Relationships with Learners
The article outlines some strategies for building strong relationships with learners:
• Listen, really listen.
• Say how you feel.
• Be clear about what you can do/will do and what you can’t do/won’t do.
• Make your teaching transparent.
• Don’t give advice.
Marking for Confidence
“Marking for Confidence” is a strategy that succeeds because it allows every student to articulate what they know about how to solve the problem at hand, feel in control of their work, and finish with a sense of confidence that they can tackle new problems. I waste less time on useless marking, and create a “teachable moment” to work in. (article from http://www.learningandviolence.net/lrnteach/reflprac.htm)
Two video examples of marking for confidence
Marking for Confidence: Math (6:27 min.)
Marking for Confidence: Proofreading (6:19 min.)
Changing Practice, Expanding Minds
When we change the way we teach, students resist the change. The article outlines some strategies for honouring and working with the resistance and getting students to accept these new ways: acknowledge feelings; acknowledge that students are in charge of their learning; help them learn about themselves as learners; invite them to participate in making decisions; and find your allies. (from Focus on Basics 9(A), page 20.)