Learn Like a Pirate: Common Concerns about Student-Led Classrooms


I’m linking up with The Primary Gal again for Chapter 2 of Learn Like a Pirate. This book! If you haven’t gotten it already, you seriously need to read it. I told my principal the other day about just the first two chapters because it is eye-opening!

I love the fact that this makes all the ways I’ve felt about my classroom seem like I’m not the only person in the world with the same intentions. I set my expectations extremely high. I try to push my kids so they know that they can do better and that they are better than they ever imagined. Chapter 2 addresses all the concerns about having a student led classroom. These concerns are clearly legit because starting something new is scary.

One of my concerns is that there will not be even time to fit it all in. After reading this chapter, I’ve come to the conclusion that as long as skills are being taught any other activity that I may have planned is not as important as I make it out to be. Students should be the driving force of all lessons.

Paul makes a really great point when he says that teachers are concerned with giving up control. In the end, the students think they have the control to make the decisions in the classroom, but the teacher has the final say. He has learned to take a step back and allow his students to take risks. *chime the angels* This is what ALL teachers need to do. Allow your kids to go down that road that you know is the wrong one. Allow them to discuss and debate about why something is or isn’t correct. Students have to practice failing. Life is not peaches and cream. A classroom environment is the safest place for students to know what it’s like to make a mistake. Their peers and their teacher will applaud them for trying a risky decision.

Being that I teach kindergarten, I’m still not 100% with letting the kids make the decisions on which way our classroom should go. However, I think that if I give them  options that I’m okay with and let them choose from those options, they are still deciding. I truly have decided because I would be okay with the two or three options that I gave them. This would work because I could plan out either of the options and be prepared for what they decide. This is the scariest part of it all. Letting the kids take control over these types of decisions.

I think it can be done! I can’t wait to read and discuss the remainder of this book. It has me thinking of so many different ways that my class can venture on this year!


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