This chapter was all about concerns that many people probably have about letting go, and letting their students take control. I don't mind letting students make choices about what their activities look like, but I do agree, that sometimes it is easier to be the one in charge. I have a hard time letting other people do things for me because I find it easier to just do it myself, and then I know how it will turn out.
Paul made a lot of good points about WHY we have to let our students take control. He used A LOT of research to explain to us the different amounts of knowledge that students retain from the different styles of learning. Of course, when students are INVOLVED and DOING the learning, then they will retain SO. MUCH. MORE! Who would have thought?!
I also love that he points out that even when the teacher makes a mistake that is a time to use it as a learning lesson. We are NOT perfect! I don't know why we feel the need to act that way sometimes. I am an awful speller, and I am sure that some of my third graders are much better spellers than I am. I know with practice I would get better, and if I worked at it I wouldn't be so self conscious about my spelling. Luckily for me I also sit in front of a computer typing, and no one can see the number of red lines I have under my words! When I misspell something on the board, my students are excited to tell me that I made a mistake! We need to use these moments to share that it is okay to make mistakes, and that we need to learn from them.
Do you always have the right answer? Do you ever have to look things up? I know my husband and I look things up on the Internet ALL THE TIME! My answer isn't always the right answer, or the best answer. I love the idea that by having a student led classroom students will be sharing multiple answers and we will be able to hear many different responses! Not only the answers, but also HOW they got their answers! How amazing is this, that when you working on a word problem in math your students will SHARE HOW they got their answers, and they WON'T ALL BE THE SAME!! I LOVE IT!!
Students want to be empowered! They want to learn, but they don't like to be talked at all the time. By switching my mindset to a student run classroom I am going to be able to give my students that power! I am going to be working hard, and doing different work, but I am excited to give my students the opportunity to share, collaborate, and figure out what they need to work on!
I hope that you are as excited about letting go, and asking for forgiveness rather than permission!
Make sure you check out The Primary Gal to see what everyone else had to say about Chapter 2!