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How does a coach maintain control?

It is not easy for the teacher to be in control in a learning community since one of the underlying principles is to give control to the students. Without any control, the students' role is fake and then they lose interest and the motivation to succeed.

Controlling the students and controlling the class is like using a remote control on your students. I am not present, but I know what is happening because I ‘overhear' lots of what is going on and also the editors tell me. I give them advice and watch them implement it. I tell them that if they are effective editors, then they will succeed in getting everyone to feel good about working for them. I work on what it takes to be a good leader both by coaching them on a daily basis and by having them read the book How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

If students do not perform, the first line of defense is the community. I have almost never had a problem with the editors. The editors and the entire group go after the non-performer and talks with him/her. I usually tell them what to say and how to deal with the problem and most of the time it works. Most students respond more to peer pressure than to parents or teachers at this time in their lives so it is usually quite an effective methodology. After they have tried and failed, then I resort to talking with the student. I try to understand the problem and then help them.

If after working with the student repeatedly, I still find that they are not effectively contributing to the learning community, I still have one more weapon: GRADES

© 2002 - Esther Wojcicki - Email: thewoj@hotmail.com