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Friday, November 23, 2007

The Inmates In Charge?

I stumbled across this educators method of handling substitute teacher days :

".....I chose the students-as-teachers several days before my absence. The students and I discussed the lesson plans and their understanding of the material to be covered. When my day off arrived, the substitute found complete lesson plans on my desk. The plans explained the agenda for the day and informed the substitute which student would be in charge of each class. The plans asked the substitute to allow the students to take charge of the class; they asked the substitute to take care of any discipline problems that might arise.

I have had several reactions to this approach from the substitute teachers. Most were not prepared for it. Some thought the lesson plan directions were a prank being played on them. But once the students started class, most substitutes responded with awe at the positive behavior and hard work of the students.

A couple of substitutes have refused to allow the students to take charge of the class. To prepare for that event, the students were told, in advance, to comply with the substitute's wishes.


I wonder if this would work with Kindergarten?

Just kidding! I've actually experienced something close to this method before and I really enjoyed the experience.


The MAN Fan Club said...

Much of my classtime is student led. I do my thing and do my best to empower the students to be the teacher at times.

NYC Educator said...

It's nice to let a kid lead the class when possible. I think it might place a sub in a rough position though. It's already tough to assert authority as a sub, and an arrangement like that may detract even further.

Sladed said...

I can see how this idea could work successfully. I like the idea. It builds on the groundwork of Harry Wong's book The First Days Of School: How To Be An Effective Teacher I've had a number of long term assignments and could imagine getting SOME classes to do that. Not kinders though!

Enjoying reading your blog posts.