I’m not a fan of teaching by myself in the classroom here. The main reason, as I’ve mentioned before, is there is no discipline in the classroom short of physical threats or verbal bombardment into submission. Which is why I think TLG with all its wisdom set up the co-teacher dynamic.
Well today a teacher was out sick I assume, and I had to take her classes. Two of them, back to back; fifth and sixth grades. Okay.
Well the first thing I did was to set up some rules. Do not yell at me to call on you. Simply raise your hand and I’ll possibly call on you. If you yell for me, I WILL not call on you. Simple stuff like that. That alone set the tone for a smoother lesson for both classes. They still were anxious to answer the questions and could barely contain themselves to stay in their seats.
As I was walking home, I was replaying the events of the classes in my head and was feeling pretty satisfied. Then I realized I was only scraping at the tip of the matrix that the students had woven for their mutual protection. Here I am self-satisfied with getting them to stop yelling my name, but the second layer of over excitement was still used (in sociological terms called this is called conditioning) to prevent me from calling on their weaker classmates. In other words, they are using a whole host of mechanisms of smoke and mirrors to hide the ones who do not know the material. It also follows that they do not mind cheating by giving the answers to their classmates, they are proud and brazen in doing so. The communal spirit is daunting and deep.
Well played, students… well played.
“This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.” – Morpheus