I joked about my “radical” classroom yesterday, and then I realized that it had been a while since I had changed the structure and tone of my classes. I’ve been very immersed in a casual, collaborative, student driven, class for quite a while now. I realized that it is time to give the other type of learner in my classroom some time. I do have students who crave structure and a concrete, correct, answer. They have been very understanding and open-minded as I nudged them into a different class model.
It’s time for class reciprocation. I hope that by conducting the formal essay unit in a focused and tight way it will give the students an emotional break. Perhaps it will be good contrast to the more exploratory model we used during first term. I will be entirely transparent about this with the students because I anticipate some productive conversation about style once the unit is completed. Besides, the highly structured classroom will mimic the structured nature of the formal essay; who can resist the poetry of that?
It’s an experiment, and I’ll keep you posted.