Words

1038128_people_seriesI just listened to a recent podcast of Radiolab entitled Words. They included a bonus video along with the podcast. Powerful images and sounds here. The video is below. If you haven’t listened to Radiolab, now is a great time to start.

As I approach my ninth year of teaching, I have begun to wonder about the effectiveness of my classroom management plan.

A brief summary
When I first started out, I allowed way too much stuff to go on. In the middle of my second year, I cracked down like nobody’s business and began what I might term my “dictator days”. Basically, I was a bully and made sure I was in charge of my classroom. I still wholeheartedly believe there is a time and place for that exact thing. But I no longer feel so out of control that I need to fall back on that plan.

This year, I want to allow more liberty in my classroom. It will be a struggle for me at times, as it means that things are going to be slightly more chaotic at times. But it will result in making the students feel safer, which any educator or psychologist will tell you is a huge thing if we want people to thrive in a situation.

I’ll write more about this in the coming months and see how things play out with it and all. But my challenge for you is to be more mindful of the words that you say (as well as those left unsaid). Now watch the video.

About Joel Wagner 522 Articles
Joel Wagner (@sywtt) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. So You Want To Teach? is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.

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