Monday, January 21, 2008
I've built up a rapport with my students. It's something upon which I pride myself, but, after this first week of classes, I have begun to ask myself if there is such a thing as too much of a relaxed classroom atmosphere. I caught myself going off on a tangent on Friday. It wasn't a long tangent (only about 1 minute of classtime) The students were engaged throughout the class, but I walked out of the class afterward and shook my head. "What did that tangent have to do with anything?" "Did I just waste my students' time with that?" I like presenting the students with an atmosphere where I'm just like them, but I happen to be able to help out with writing and lead classroom discussion. Those of you who have read my teaching philosophy know that I like to see myself as a coach in the classroom. I like being the person who can joke around with their students before we get down to the meat of the class material. There are conversations going on while I take role, the first few minutes of class are usually reserved for "what did you do this weekend? what did you do over the weekend? What did you do Wednesday night" sort of banter and there's a casual dialogue. It's the way I like the class, and the students seem to be accepting of this atmosphere. However, lately I'm starting to wonder if this is the best way I should be running the class. I like running the class that way. the students like the class. But, is it as effective as I can be teaching?