My educational philosophy is based on mutual respect in the classroom. On a teacher-students basis and on a student-student basis as well. The teacher that acts as the person guiding the rest of the group to learn a foreign language and a diversity of cultural issues has my total admiration.
How this shows in the classroom begins with the position everyone takes in the group. I always ask my students to get used to sitting in a circle where they can feel equal and comfortable, to learn, make mistakes, or ask a «silly» question, which will definitely have an answer.
The circle is powerful for several reasons:
- no physical barriers interfere
- everyone faces one another
- students can make eye contact
- everybody feels on the same level
- positive atmosphere stays within the circle
Rather than students «assigning» seats to themselves and/or their favourite classmates thus keeping closed and fixed mini circles within the group I much more prefer moving them around regularly so they learn how to cooperate and work together in a respectful and helpful manner. It upsets me to hear students feel left out by others. I find it utterly disrespectful.
Particularly I like to have students sit in circles during Monologues and Dialogues as everyone has the chance to watch their classmates, and give opinions and encouragement in a non-judgmental environment. The feeling of belonging and significance makes sense.
La vida, sin prisa