Lecture From Siberia
"In his book When Students Have Power (1996), Ira Shor describes the Siberia zone that exists in every college classroom. This is the part of the classroom farthest away from the teacher’s body, usually the last row of the auditorium or the seat in class by the door at the back of the room. If the teacher’s body or desk represents Moscow, the center of party authority, then the seat by the door represents Siberia, the territorial area furthest from central authority. . . . Ira describes how he deals with Siberia by moving there and speaking from that zone. Simply walking to the back of a lecture theater and giving a lecture from that location is a dramatic, powerful gesture, one that breaks with the thousands of hours students have experienced listening to, or ignoring, the teacher standing or sitting at the front of the room by the chalkboard."
– Stephen Brookfield from his book “The Skillful Teacher”
For further thought . . .
Are you pretty much anchored in the Moscow of your classroom? Why do you think that is?
Do you need to do any rearranging in your classroom to be able to comfortably reach and lecture from Siberia?
What challenges might present themselves as you lecture from Siberia? (For example, you might be pretty far from your marker board up front when you need it to illustrate a point.)
Lecturing from Siberia (or at least moving away from Moscow) can present additional benefits when it comes to classroom management, especially when teaching Catechism-age students.