How to build a more powerful classroom by letting go, could really be, “How can I create a more powerful community by letting go?” This is a question, and something to strive for in any community: school, industry, faith, family… It involves relinquishing control. This is easier for some than it is for others. But I do not believe that it’s unchangeable. I have definitely gotten better at giving up control as I get older (not old, mind you!!). In a classroom, this is about creating a culture where students know that their voices are heard and respected. Their interests and learning styles are taken into account. The terms regarding how they are assessed includes them in the planning process. These classrooms may be a bit noisier, may look a bit crazy to an outsider, and will not look like a traditional classroom. The students will be smiling, or working confidently, engaged in their learning. The teacher will actually have less stress, and will be happier to come to work each day instead of counting down the days till summer. They enjoy teaching more, because they aren’t focused on the little things like, Sit down when you are learning, Don’t talk to your neighbors – you have to work by yourself, Raise your hand if you want to share something, Don’t ask questions about the book – just listen, Write a report on this______, etc. *yawn*, etc. Instead, they get to focus on the excitement of learning on the faces of the students. They get to help them learn how to be problem identifiers and problem solvers. Learning becomes real, and long-lasting. This is what it means to let go in a classroom. These are the kids that leave that class filled with the power of using their own minds and directing their own learning. And it doesn’t stop in the classroom. This transfers directly into the boardroom, onto the assembly line, around the kitchen table. Authentic relationships -> community -> power.