Any classroom is a place where a series of compromises have been made. We typically make decisions based on the needs of the larger group. The classroom arrangement is a compromise. The method(s) of instruction is a compromise. Classroom management strategies are a compromise.
In recent years we have been conditioned to think of compromise as a bad thing, but compromises help move us from a completely self-centered position to better understanding and accepting the needs of others. If you think about the history of the United States, compromises help moved our nation forward at key crossroads in our journey as a nation. Without compromise we could not have moved forward as a people, even with some challenges along the way.
However, some compromises are truly untenable. They move us away from core values for the sake of expediency or convenience, causing effectiveness to wane.
As a new school year begins for most educators it is helpful for us to reflect on our classroom compromises. As you do so, here are some questions to consider:
- What compromises are for your convenience and are not necessarily focused on your students?
- What compromises can be shared with students to help them better understand how they can work together for the good of everyone?
- What compromises do you need to get rid of — compromises that may be stripping students of their individuality in your eyes?
- What compromises need to be instituted for a better learning environment and more disciplined patterns within your classroom?
What are you doing to reflect upon your classroom compromises? Share your thoughts as a comment to this post. Let’s together build some useful thoughts and practices concerning classroom compromises with each other.