Tis the time of year that elementary schools are full of rumblings of what might be in store for the next school year. “Who will be my child’s teacher next year?” ” Who will be changing grade levels or schools?” ” What is in store for us?” ” What is best for my child?” ” What is best for my student?”
As I have been listening, digesting and responding to this yearly chatter, I can’t help but tune into a constant ad reoccurring theme:
Some still attribute “structure” to an old school model. “My child needs structure” could be translated to ….what?
I believe that there is a misconception here. Can any teacher teach without structure? I do not think so. Can one coach and guide 25-30 students without an explicit underlying structure? I can proclaim, that my new environment would not function without very carefully planned and practiced structure, which is explicitly taught, practiced and revisited. So, what is the structure some folks are wanting?
One hears and reads proclamations that the teacher of today should not be the “sage on the stage” or the controller; however, the teacher of today still has to manage a group of students, and when they are in the primary grades, even more so. However, what those students are doing and how they are interacting is very different in a modern environment.
So, I am wanting to shake up this word structure. What are folks meaning by a “structured” environment these days? What does it really mean? Are we using it to clutch to our old comfy paradigm?
Here is the question I pose to you:
Is a class that has moved away from the industrial revolution’s paradigm of teacher controlled environments equal to a class lacking in structure?
Help me ponder this….
What is your thinking about structure in a modern classroom? When kids move and talk does that mean the environment is not structured? What are your thoughts?