I prefer my students to work in groups, learning how to work as a team, using each other as resources to grow and explore. Inevitably, around this point in the year, I move them back into rows because I'm not seeing the type of progress I'm looking for in that regard.
I put the rows in pairs so there will still be collaboration, but hopefully, more on-task collaboration. At least for today, I got acceptable results.
In light of my revelation about empathy last week, I need to appreciate that my students have a certain level of comfort and familiarity with lecture-style learning. Moving them away from that without at least paying tribute to their desires seems unfair.
I'm also restructuring my lessons a bit as well. We will still be doing exploratory learning. I'll be sending them into the jungle, but now I'll give them a bit of a tutorial on how to use the compass.
Teaching needs to be responsive, not just to the needs of the students, but also to what they are willing to do.
I don't like having my room in rows, and I'm going to work to move back to groups by the end of the year.
The transition back into rows was a bit earlier this year than previous years. I'm not sure if that says more about the students, or more about me. Reading that post from 3 years ago makes me wonder how much I've changed as an educator in that time.
It also makes me wonder if, as a self-professed "progressive educator," my aversion to having the kids in rows is based anything more than principle.
|Being aloof is part of my mysterious nature|