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