What are the most appealing ideas expressed by the author(s)?
The book “Shouting Won’t Grow Dendrites” by Marcia Tate presents its readers with the techniques of managing a classroom. The strategies suggested by the author inspire the educators to become proactive managers instead of being reactive. To my mind, the most useful and interesting idea of Marcia Tate is the development of discipline and maintaining it in the classroom in order to avoid the disruption. Tate notices that most educators dealing with challenging classrooms normally wait till some of the classroom rules are broken and then react to unwanted behaviors. Tate explores an alternative approach towards the order in the classroom that will allow the teachers to keep the situation under control and, at the same time, be prepared for the conflicts. Marcia Tate describes psychological techniques that help the teacher to maintain their authority and prevent the discipline disruptions at the root. The author notes the importance of the teacher’s confidence and stamina, which kills the very attempts of the students to misbehave because they would all the time feel that the educator is actively watching and correcting the behaviors. Marcia Tate’s techniques would definitely create a better atmosphere during the learning process, minimize the chance of students moving off the course, and save a lot of nerves to the teacher. The author emphasizes that the teacher’s voice and behavior need to remain calm and assertive in any situation because the students see shouting as a sign of weakness and loss of control over the classroom, which will lead to more discipline issues. Tate suggests engaging various decorations, music, and lighting in order to create a better and friendlier atmosphere in the classrooms.
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What are the implications of the ideas in the book for you as an educator?
According to Marcia Tate, a proactive manager nurtures the nature of the children, their desire to move, speak, and learn. The author believes that shutting these desires down is wrong, and it creates a conflict in the classroom. Tate emphasizes that engaging lessons are the answers to all the issues a teacher can experience during the learning process. Tate’s techniques imply a lot of creativity from the side of the teacher. The author wants the readers to understand that being active and keeping the students active is the key to perfect discipline and interest in the lesson. Of course, children of different ages have different needs; this is why the activities should respond to what is most important for a particular classroom. Tate also mentions that a case of misbehavior will occur even in the classrooms with the best and most proactive teachers; they are a normal aspect of the teaching process. The educators need to be prepared for such situations and take active measures that will allow the lost student to return to the road to recovery and join the rest of the students as soon as possible. The author implies that an educator whose students occasionally misbehave should not feel discouraged, as mistakes are a part of learning; they are necessary and essential for the children. The teacher’s responsibility is to predict possible negative outcomes and work through warnings and advice.
What ideas of the author, if any, do you challenge? Why?
It can be very challenging always to find inspiration to create engaging lessons every day. A teacher that wants to keep their students interested in the learning process will use different means to add creativity to a lesson. Such means may include visual demonstrations, films, music, games, stories, debates and discussions, plays, and various projects. Teachers that have a desire to organize their classrooms and create the most interesting engaging lessons have unlimited resources on the Internet. The Internet allows arranging online investigations, online field trips, and case studies. The classrooms can join discussion forums, blogs, create their own videos, solve riddles, and play educating games. A challenging aspect of constant creativity can be defeated with the help of the World Wide Web. One more challenging idea presented in Marcia Tate’s book is the strategy of positive expectations. It seems like an absolutely great approach towards a classroom, yet it can be very difficult to use, especially for experienced teachers that have been through various cases of misbehavior.
It is challenging to forget the mistakes of the past and start believing that all of the children in the classroom will meet the teacher’s high expectations. Although being devoted to such belief is one of the most important traits of a proactive manager. Loving children for the way they are and seeing the potential in them are the main duties of a good educator, but after several years of working as a teacher, most people start working on impulse assuming that most of what their students say or think is wrong and needs to be corrected and fixed. The greatest skill of the teacher is the ability to help the child develop their potential without preventing them from being who they are, without subduing the personalities and dictating the only “correct” way of thinking. Marcia Tate’s twenty techniques are useful for the harmonious development of a student and teacher; they help both sides learn and improve.