As an Elementary Ed major just entering the professional component of my degree, I’m being bombarded with options. My professors are trying to give me oodles of good, solid options for every conceivable aspect of classroom life so that I will have an idea of how I want to run my classroom when I leave school and receive my first teaching position. For me and for many of my peers, much of our spare time is spent daydreaming about our future classrooms and the type of teachers we want to be.
As for me, I would like to give my students as much freedom and choice as I can stand, but I have been worried that I might, in the interest of freedom, allow my students’ learning to slip. They might roam too far off topic, and I might not have the heart to rein them in. “Teachers’ Most Powerful Role? Adding Context,” a post I found on the blog Mind Shift, has comforted me a bit. Shawn McCusker, the author, argues that the teacher should be like the conductor in an orchestra; they must be knowledgeable about the musicians and the music, and they must direct the concert, providing help and feedback.
In this very constructivist model, the students are able to build on their curiosity and the natural questions that come up. The teacher is there to coordinate this learning and fill in any gaps in understanding that occur. Pretty sweet
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