I wish that people who are conventionally supposed to love each other would say to each other, when they fight, “Please—a little less love, and a little more common decency.”
Slapstick or Lonesome No More!, Kurt Vonnegut
I was a public high school English teacher for almost two decades in the rural upstate of South Carolina.
My first years were nearly overwhelming—as they are for most beginning teachers. And I would concede that much of that struggling could easily be categorized as classroom management challenges (although having five different preps, 15 different textbooks, and classes as large as 35 students certainly didn’t help).
Yet, then and now, as I approach the middle of my third decade teaching, I tend to reject the terms “discipline” and “classroom management” because they carry connotations I cannot endorse.
First, framing classroom management as something separate from pedagogy, I believe, is a mistake. In…
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