Okay, so what I’m trying to say is that the textual study of classroom management failed me in ed school. Even grails like The First Days Of School, Every Minute Counts, etc., didn’t do me anywhere near as good as butchering a period and slumping back for an autopsy with my mentor.
I can’t offer every new teacher that experience but I think I can offer them something close, something, I’m almost certain, better than the usual detached ed-school take on classroom management.
I want to insert teachers into a sequence of carefully engineered classroom management disasters — which we’ll call … um … “episodes” for right now — each one focusing on a distinct, typical conflict, each one increasing in complexity, and each one so virtual you can just walk away from the disaster with a pocketful of answers at the end.
In other words, I want you to own your management solutions rather than buy mine. My book of maxims is easily dismissed and finitely applicable to your classroom. But if I put you and your new teacher buddies into a virtual classroom management thicket (ideally alongside a mentor) and say, “hack your way out of it,” each of you will construct your own solutions, each of which will look slightly different from the others.
Moreover, as with any line of inquiry that begins, “What went wrong here?” you’ll find solutions to problems I included unwittingly, which is awesome. Moreover, you can insert yourself into the same situation a year later and watch your entire solution set change. Are these outcomes even possible with a book of prescriptive advice?
Obviously I’m talking about television