Thursday, October 27, 2011

Anyone who has visited classrooms can “feel” a classroom that is working, for both the teacher and the students. However, some classrooms only work for the teacher. That might have been appropriate a century ago, but will not work today. Equally, some only work for the students, which greatly reduces productivity and can approach chaos.

When most of us were children, the classroom was a place with rows of desks. We worked quietly on one thing at a time all together until the class was finished and then we moved to another lesson. Children were quiet and well-behaved. It worked for most of us. If it didn’t work, higher authorities took over. That child sat in the principal’s office, missing important instruction. Generally, the parents supported the school. Many of those incidents and a host of parent conferences later, the child either succumbed to the authority until the age of 16 or was sent to a more structured environment. Either of those paths could easily lead to juvenile delinquency. As my own father threatened several times, the “bad girls’ reform school” was always an option. Interesting name….reform school. They vowed to reform the child.

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