I couldn't agree more! In order to have a successful classroom community, students must trust eachother and feel safe enough to take risks, and put themselves out on a limb. This is why I always try to stress the "no put down zone". It's something I find I have to be really firm about, at least until the students understand that I'm very serious about it. Once they do, it almost becomes a non issue. Anyway, back to the main point... I also agree that the more safe the students feel, the easier it is for the students and myself to take risks that we might not otherwise take. I try to be as open and honest with my students as I can and encourage them to do the same. I know of several teachers in our area here (okanagan) who are trying to change how things have been traditionaly done in the classroom with their own students...there is a move going through the school systems for community learning and team work is being emphasized more and more...we can even see this in the corporate world. It's great and I'm excited! Oh, Marc, it is absolutly fine to pass on whatever ideas you wish...I hope your wife finds them useful.