I’m sitting at the “front” of a classroom, scribbling notes for my journal entry as the students around me are sitting grouped together at their tables, chatting away as they bend over their personal devices or look at a neighbor’s. Some students are walking in and out the open door that leads to outside as they will.
This sounds like a recipe for disaster. This sounds like I have suddenly lost all classroom management skills that I picked up within my American tenth grade English classroom. If one of my students from America was sitting here, they would probably complain something along the lines of, “They get to wander off to other classrooms, but we could barely even use the bathroom?” Indeed, if an administrator for an American classroom walked in on this, it’s entirely probable that it would be the last day of my teaching career.
Here’s the thing though: the students are learning. They just don’t need me to do it.