When we first start the year, how do we view our students? Much effort has been made in tprs to really welcome students and to respect them as creative individuals. I know this to be true and do my best to apply it every day. In his book, Push Back the Desks, Albert Cullum describes his view on students when they walk in for the first time. He states:
A sensitive teacher is always aware of the drama inherent in his* class. Every class contains a cast ready to play their roles in every subject matter area, and the teacher, sensing the rhythm of his group, soon find his role too. It is not necessary for the teacher to always play the lead; frequently he can twice as well in a supporting role. As the school year proceeds, a good teacher will realize that sitting before him, around him, or next to him is a stellar cast!
*Keep in mind that this was written at a time that “he” was used universally for men and women, so it also applies just as much to women as it does to men.
I found this to be incredibly insightful and it opened my eyes to how I view my students. Am I casting my students correctly for class? Am I paying attention to how they are as people before I put them in a certain role? These are good questions to ask because we want the right student in the right role. This will make the learning that much more powerful. With students in the right roles we will soon find that we have a stellar cast that is eagerly anticipating the next time we get together.