One of my Rio Salado assignments posited an interesting question, whereby I gave a equally interesting, if not tart, answer (April 2013).
Q: Imagine in your first year of teaching, your Department Chair imparts the following piece of advice, “Good control depends on finding the right gimmick.” How do you feel about that statement?
A: I would joke back, ‘Yeah, the right gimmick, and a nightstick just in case right?’ The right gimmick might sound like a good option because it maintains student control, but if control is the teacher’s only concern, he might as well have a baton attached to his belt. Of course a teacher is supposed to maintain a semblance of control over the classroom, but that is in order to achieve the still higher and loftier goal of teaching, of information effectively communicated. Finding the right gimmick is just finding which form of manipulation will make the job easier and lazier for the teacher.