Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Setting up a classroom culture: Solidarity

One of the big things that I use in my classroom early on is the notion of solidarity. I tell the kids early on and try to emphasize that everything I ask them to do in class, I do with them or have in my handwriting. If they are writing in journals, I write in my journal. If they take an AP multiple choice passage, I show them the passage I've taken. If I require them to read a book, I show them the book I'm reading.

In doing so, there is a sense of community that, I feel, cuts down on behavior issues. In addition, by writing and reading with the students I'm telling them that what we do is important. It's important not because I said to do it, but important because I'm taking the time to do it. Does it mean that I have to structure my day differently to get the grading in? Yes. However, it cuts down on discipline issues and makes me more aware of the cognitive processes that I require of my students. It provides me with a greater sense of timing and problems in my lesson design.


  1. I like your idea of solidarity. I have started taking some of your cues. Reading with my students when they are reading an article and now I will make an element on our periodic table with them too.

  2. I hope it works out. I find that the act of solidarity has eliminated most of my management issues. When the students see that I'm doing the work with them, things cease becoming "assignments" and become elements that the community is participating in. As such, I don't think a community can exist without solidarity.