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Bureaucracy, hierarchical bullying, leaders and lowly followers, and any different kind of governing at the expense and exploitation in the governed... they're hurtful and criminal systems for your benefit in the few and the misery in the many. There are possible ways of living and together. I have proposed and exercised a lot simpler, balanced, harmonious, and successful guideline for the good teacher and willing students to truly work and learn together.
Leadership and responsibility are shared equally, providing all people in a group first understand how it works and second, are desperate to enjoy its productivity and share joy of learning and together.
Much in the old "system" must necessarily be dispensed with: the pressures of fear, punishment, totalitarian authority, ugly competition, as well as a resulting lack of learning, joy, and boundless lack of productivity. Replacing these "traditional" habits of non-learning with fresh new attitudes of tending to one another's qualities and skills, sharing and helping, and creating a a feeling of confidence and trust in ones own integrity knowning that of your respective fellows... and seeing and experiencing and enjoying the infinite benefits... itrrrs this that we were all capable to accomplish together.
Each individual is given the example of planning and doing an insurance policy drawn up by each member in the group, with all the teacher's guidance and experience being a resource of proper use. First, the agenda of various skills is drawn up and decided upon, each one of these adding to and approving of our own outline of the items we want to learn. Thus... we have a plan, a syllabus, out of which to draw our daily activities of curriculum and learning.
Next, we figure out what form of leadership or management qualities should be made, as a way to accomplish real learning skills together. The literal qualities: subject preparation; understanding group dynamics; and making perfect use of our own time together. Also... collecting our work material together, for daily use. The abstract qualities: various various ways; caring for your productivity of each and every member in the group; having a well-earned pride in the advancement of each and every individual; concern for individual and group behavior and harmony; experiencing the vast various skills and experience which can be achieved; transferring the learning skills and subject content beyond the Fountas And Pinnell Leveled Classroom Library, as life lessons.
What specific duties must each of us experience, as a way to make this daily venture successful? To love who we're and what we're engaged in. Yes! This is the best of living, in and out in the classroom. Loving our work... and to enjoy our lives.
We rotate leadership and management duties, once our agenda can be obtained out of which to draw for daily lessons. Two students at any given time... work cooperatively as co-teachers; they have to both prepare in advance to enable them to be relied upon to keep things moving smoothly. At the same time, students want this pair to ensure success: in the event the student teachers excel, so will the rest in the class. They help each other to ensure success... as a group effort.
We also rotate other Fountas And Pinnell Leveled Classroom Library management duties, i.e... the passing and collecting of materials; posting the daily agenda around the board; welcoming one's fellows upon arrival and adding to immediately getting down to business; acting as host to any and all sorts of visitors, and taking care of interruptions quickly and efficiently; taking attendance (to become checked with the teacher); moving around and giving aid wherever necessary; keeping a simple journal/log of our own day's accomplishments, to become eventually used with the next set of student teachers to produce their plans, keeping transition as smooth as possible.
We must encourage and eager for flexibility and spontaneity in how we make valuable use of our own time together. Issues appear... which need immediate attention. In addition, we want to periodically evaluate how we're all doing. What are our strengths? Where might we improve? This is necessarily a constant process. Be as genuinely upbeat and encouraging as possible. Once again... this learning experience transfers to everyone's own life situation. Think of how this can and does benefit future and current family and community life. It works! The best critics and supporters... are students themselves.
It is a beautiful experience, also from my point of view as both a teacher and student. Much affection is openly encouraged. Students are desperate to come to class. Boredom and the must cheat fade from existence. Memorable moments are experienced. Students invited others to see: parents, employees, community mentors, siblings, as well as visitor/participants from our "special class" which, in turn, invited our students to come to their room and give them also. Their teacher was thrilled to participate. A not-so-foreign exchange.
Perhaps our only problem: not enough time to fit everything in we were desperate to accomplish. Hence... it took over as the individual's option to still develop his/her own objectives beyond our limited class time. Many "projects" were done outside, and so the outcome was shared with all the group. Fantastic variety! One senior lad had initiated his very own business by buying one porta-potty to become rented for farmworkers in the field (having few other such facility); he earned enough, eventually, to purchase a different one, continuing to maintain them very well. An accomplishment for himself... among others. A young woman in the junior class crocheted warm and attractive baby blankets to become first given and later on sold as lovely and useful items; I still use mine, many years later.
Life skills were a constant, including curriculum lessons and creating a lifelong joy and appreciation for learning, and living of the same quality your life as possible, plus through an immediate and extended positive impact on others. Horizontal management... a blessing to everyone... as well as a horizon without limit or boundaries.
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