Teacher to Class

Classes are both a collective and a group of individuals with a range of abilities, personalities, learning styles, learning preferences, and cultural backgrounds.
The dynamic relationship between instructor and class is a crucial facet of effective teaching at Indian Springs School. We believe regarding the class both as a collective and as a group of individuals who represent a range of abilities, personalities, learning styles, learning preferences, and cultural backgrounds is essential. An effective teacher will be able to develop a repertoire of teaching strategies, activities, assessment tools, etc., so as to engage all members of a class, at least part of the time, in a meaningful and relevant way. 

Having a sense of humor and a taste for adventure is always good. Students are far more likely to assimilate material and acquire skills when the tasks are fun as well as challenging. A lighter atmosphere invariably helps students relax and tune in to what is going on. At the same time, of course, teachers must balance professional decorum with the playfulness with which they seek to make the classroom experience interesting and rewarding. This equilibrium position will vary from section to section since each group has its own unique interpersonal chemistry. Above all, and in the spirit of school-community life set forth in our constitution, we teachers must be ever vigilant in protecting the worth and dignity of each individual as well as that of the class as a whole.

As much as our students want to enjoy their learning experience, they also expect their teachers to establish and maintain a certain measure of structure and clarity with regard to course objectives and to the selection and presentation of the material. Students must have a reference that will enable them to participate in the assessment of their own progress; these objectives must be reasonable and clear in their expectations of the students. Students who have no sense of progression in a given course can quickly lose interest in learning and, in some cases, create problems for class morale.

Carefully selecting content material that is appropriate for a specific group of students is always important. While the students' ages and maturity levels are major determinants in this selection, we realize that students come to Indian Springs because they want and expect to be intellectually challenged. The content of our courses should be such that those who can, and will, might expand their own learning. The challenge is to invite the class to share our passion for what we teach, thereby causing them to want the power that knowledge and skills will afford.

It is the prerogative of the teacher to present potentially controversial subject matter in such a manner that at once accomplishes the task at hand and respects students' sensibilities and belief systems. We believe that providing our students with opportunities to tackle difficult questions (even, and especially those to which there are no clear answers) and, at times, to discuss issues that are possibly ethically or morally unsettling are key elements in the development of their critical thinking and their sense of moral responsibility. Our role as teachers is to guide them with our wisdom, experience, and knowledge while remembering that we are a community of scholars who can and do learn much from one another.
190 Woodward Drive, Indian Springs, Alabama 35124
Phone: 205.988.3350
Indian Springs School, an independent school recognized nationally as a leader in boarding and day education for grades 8-12, serves a talented and diverse student body and offers admission to qualified students regardless of race, gender, religion, national origin, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. Located in Indian Springs, Alabama, just south of Birmingham, the school does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion, national origin, ethnicity, or sexual orientation in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, or athletic and other school-administered programs.

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