I think my teaching style comes across as unstructured and loosey-goosey. Is that a bad thing?
I’ve been an educator for a decade now and I’ve never really fit into school systems. From higher education to high school, my style of teaching is laser-focused on students. I know I’m not their friend, but I see myself as their ally. I’m with them. That’s why I’m in the classroom. That’s why I do this. I don’t think I would want to do it if I took another perspective.
So I approach this gig with an open ear, and comforting gesture, and some sort of kindness, all in the name of learning.
This tends to get me in trouble with those who aren’t members of the classroom. When students ask to go to the bathroom, I usually say yes. When students ask if they can listen to their music during reading time, I usually say yes. Maybe I look like a pushover to onlookers, like administrators. Am I a pushover?
And yet, when I task students with something challenging, they still groan about it, but they do it, with or without a grade attached. When we have discussions, students seem relaxed and open. When students write, they get personal and think deeply, or so it seems.
If I were more rigid, I don’t think they would produce the same quality material. It’s all relative and part of a very thought out pedagogy. One where I can treat students with respect and expect respect in return.
So if you’re ever in my classroom and it looks like we’re too relaxed, it’s ok. We’re probably engaged in a discussion, reading, or writing.
We’re not just chilling; we’re just chill.