Monday, August 23, 2004

Becoming Mean

I've finally decided that it's time to get mean. And so far it's working pretty well.

I'm not usually one for order and structure in the class. I favor open-ended assignments and a lot of group work. But I'm starting to develop a stricter style of classroom management. Before I wanted them to choose to learn, and I didn't want to enforce learning. Now I've decided that some of them have made this choice, and it is my job to keep the rest of the students from being distractions to those of us there to do some math.

Today as we were forming groups I told them that if they got off topic or if I noticed them talking about something other than math I was going to have to ask them to leave. It worked! They stayed on topic! I must admit that I had to practice ahead of time to be prepared to do this. Last week I met with someone from the department and practiced giving him his one and only warning and telling him to leave my class. I think that I can kick a student out now if I ever need to. I'm hoping that I'll never have to do it, but now it's an option.

And I gave a reading quiz today.