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New Teachers

Flexable Teaching

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Danielle Combs Danielle Combs 1785 Points

How flexable is to flexable? Obviously in a classroom nothing is going to go as plan all the time, however, how flexable should we really be as teachers?

Katie Barker Katie Barker 3530 Points

I think teachers need to be flexible in all aspects of their teaching. Behavior wise I think teachers need to make sure they have clear cut expectations for their class, but be able to make changes depending on different, sometimes difficult, situations. In all other aspects of teaching, I think teachers need to be extremely flexible because things don't always go as planned and they need to be able to 'roll with the punches'.

Kayla Gaddie Kayla Gaddie 4195 Points

I think flexibility will be a necessity but we will have to maintain our expectations and rules!

Tina Harris Tina Harris 65805 Points

Flexible means being able to look at a situation and to see what is wrong and to be able to either come up with a plan B or a fix for that problem. It means looking at our students as individuals and not as a group of clones and being able to make adjustments as necessary to the rules or to the lesson that will help them to succeed without taking away from the point of the lesson or the rule. Flexible means understanding that school is not isolated from the real world and sometimes we have to address things like deaths in the community or crises in the world and if we don't teach about it at least understand these may be affecting our students. The best part of flexible is it is not an every minute, every day thing. If I have to make adjustments to rules (for example, the student has a bladder infection and has to be allowed to go to the bathroom more often than the stated allowance) that simply means one adjustment for one person, not the class. It might provide a new unplanned lesson for the class on tolerance (more flexibility there). If I have an IEP for a student that calls for altered tests, then I can write my test for the class and then take a few minutes to "tweak" it to meet the requirements of the IEP. If I am teaching a lesson on forces, and it is not working... if, when I planned the lesson, I took the time to think of alternative lesson ideas (which I had not planned to use), then I can check with students to determine where they are confused and make adjustments, either immediately or for the next lesson based on those ideas. Sometimes it simply requires I reach in my desk for a toy or piece of paper or that I draw a new picture on the board to show the concept from a different perspective. Sometimes being flexible means being able to stand back and let the children teach each other in a way they understand - being able to share control. Flexible means understanding there are few absolutes. It does not necessarily mean we are happy with the situation, just that we can adapt and go on to meet the needs of our students and provide the best instruction we can for the situations we are dealing with.

Molly McGinnis Molly McGinnis 2415 Points

As a developing teacher, I never really knew what flexibility meant until I started actually teaching my lessons and interacting with students. After teaching several lessons, I realized that flexibility is something that just happens. I think that in the classroom flexibility really means that you can identify if something is not working and how you react to that. Somethings you think will be great during a lesson might completely fail when you're teaching them. Flexibility is just how you handle that situation.

Since I am a developing special educator, I wanted to share this resource with you all. This resource not only benefits special educators but general educators as well.
The Flexible Classroom: Helping students with mental health challenges to thrive.


Michelle Mattern Michelle Mattern 1775 Points

Finding that balance between flexible enough and too flexible is difficult. Like you said, everything is never going to be perfect, and there will always be something that goes wrong, and we, as teachers, will have to adjust accordingly. I think the line needs to be drawn either based on your own comfort level, or when it gets to the point where your teaching or your students' learning is compromised. It is very difficult to think on your feet and change a lesson plan if something goes wrong, but you have to, as a teacher. If worse comes to worse, and a lesson gets so messed up, or something goes very wrong to the point where you don't think you can be that flexible, then just switch that lesson with another one for the another day, which would give you time to go home and re-figure the one that wasn't working. Being able to do that is flexible too. Flexibility is also just about keeping a level head and staying clam, it's never as bad as it seems.

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