After three years out of the regular ed classroom I am having to apply a lot of new beliefs. I can tell you there is a huge difference between what I believe is right and what I may be able to pull off. This is one example of what I am thinking.
I really do believe learning is social and that the students learning and sharing together is a much more powerful model than the teacher lecturing or students reading quietly to themselves. I also know from experience that many students excel in this way. Unfortunately I realize to many students, this is a bit too much freedom. So many students have had teachers constantly nagging them to work that they don't now how to self start. As soon as they are 'turned loose' they are completely lost.
Now I am struggling with how to approach the students that are not working, not using their time wisely, and are not learning. I know that they will soon discover that they wasted their time and I know better than to put much weight on grades this early in the year, but still I struggle with allowing them the opportunity to fail. I don't want that, even though it may be the only good way to move them towards independence.
What have you done in the past when you have been in this situation? I would love your feedback.