Control, FOLE, Pedagogy and Hugs

--Originally published at flnhub – Connecting is Learning

Students, Teachers and Control

Control is a curious word. Many of my colleagues at the Tecnológico de Monterrey know me as “that flipping teacher” which comes from my embracing #flipclass four years ago and evangelizing that approach to colleagues on campus, across the system as well as nationally and internationally.

Yes, #flipclass has been good to me but it tends to pigeonhole me with that label. I do so much more in my classroom (connected classrooms, #oer, giving my students voice, active learning) which I consider going beyond flipped class. I really should blog more about my classroom. Hmm.

The key component of #flipclass to me and the most important “flip” for me is the flip of responsibility in the classroom. I want my students to take control of their learning while I slide into a role as a guide and mentor.  Jon Bergmann and Aaron Sams talk about this in their book “Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day

Guide on the side and not the sage on the stage.
— Bergmann and  Sams

Another inspiration on my pedagogy is Keith Hughes (@hiphughes on Twitter), go search out his #TeacherTips which should become coffee table books for teacher’s lounges.  One key concept I take from Keith is the term “Facilitator of Learning Experiences”. I love that expression and use it often to explain my role in the classroom.

I would prefer you go watch and listen to Keith explain this:

Back to the Topic at Hand

The catalyst for this post is an article that the #GoogleNow machine recommended to me on my Android phone at 4am this morning (yes, I wake up at 5am usually but for some reason earlier this morning). It triggered an almost Facebook post which I transmogrified into a blog post.

flickr photo by cogdogblog shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

flickr photo by Lebatihem shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license

More Love in Education

I had a nice lunch conversation with last week with Pille Kustala about how important relationships are in education and in particular in higher education where we are situated here at the Tecnológico de Monterrey. Yes indeed, even a hug is fine and sometimes exactly what a student needs.

Image shared publicly on Facebook by "Tochito y Americano en imagen", click image for source.

The Article Finally

My favourite quote in this article at Slate titled “Spirit Guides” is this one that talks about the key need being to let go of control. I talked about this in our hallway conversation with Lee Skallerup Bessette and others at #DigPed last week (video below) and the “letting go of control” is key to my pedagogy:

I myself became a decent teacher only when I started to relinquish some control over the classroom—stopped worrying so much about “getting my points across” and recognized that those moments of disorder that would sometimes occur, those spontaneous outbreaks of intelligence, were the most interesting parts of the class, for both my students and myself. We were going somewhere new, and we were going there together.

If you would like to watch the hallway conversation with Lee and others in our Virtually Connecting session, give that a watch/listen. This conversation was amazing and I truly cherish these networking opportunities at conferences I am not able to attend in person:

Your Turn

So I was able to turn this Facebook post into a blog post which really is #TheRightThingToDo. Feel free to share your comments, thoughts and ideas below in the comments section.


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