power balance in the classroom

I was reading classmates’ blog trying to find some spark to light up my ideas about my second post. It is kind of interesting that people always have a stronger feeling when see something familiar happened to others. I guess we all need some kind of social identification at now and then. I do belong to this kind of group and I read through Jamie’s post about the power of empowerment, I immediately thought about my high school experiences with my major class advisor, also Chemistry teacher at then.

It was a big issue in China for teenagers to develop relationships while they are still in school. None of the high school kids are dare to show or express their romantic feelings to others, even now. While, you know teenagers, there are always few underground lovers. As our major advisor, Mr.D, he was terrified about this and keep having different students coming to his office and he would pretended to care about your school and then started asking behaviors or rumors about other students. Though he was a great teacher at his major, chemistry at that moment, nobody graduated in my class really appreciated his hard work and endeavor. It was hard for teenagers to really love and respect him if his hard work just ended up more suspicion, anger, stress, and unfriendly atmosphere in the class room. I still remember at our reunion after high school graduation, he was not invited and the boys played an insulting hoax to him by calling his home phone and cell phone after midnight. It was sad and we never did it again at our other reunions, but also he was never invited.

People in China say”Love is just like sand, the tighter you try to hold it, the quicker you lose it.” I think it also applies here in the class room. The more power the teacher tries to grant to himself/herself, the quicker and easier that he/she losses it. The teacher has power in the classroom, but not absolutely tyranny. Neutral respect is definitely the very fundamental base for constructing and maintaining an healthy student-teacher relationship. Of course, there are other challenges compared to one-to-one relationships. We all come across public challenges in the classroom by some special students. How we deal with those situations can also affect the whole power balance.

It is a global world and it is a very diverse classroom. There are some general rules about how to balance the power, but there are always some unique cases that we will experience. It is always those specific cases will either give us honor or pricey lessons. Keep exploring in this topic and be prepared for those challenges is always a better choice.



1 thought on “power balance in the classroom

  1. I am enjoying “dialoguing” with you via blog on the topic of power in the classroom. Thanks for sharing your insights and experiences from China!

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