Education is the greatest civil rights issue of our time. It will take solutions around the HOW, not words around the WHAT.
Great teaching is about great mindsets. If you believe it, you will achieve it. Yes, that last line is cheesy AND it is true. So much about what we do in our life is a direct manifestation of WHAT we think and HOW we think.
Teaching Mindset 1 - It’s not about you, it’s about them. Them being the students.
As you sit down to plan, answer these questions of yourself to ensure this lesson is about your kids and not about you.
1. Who will be MOST engaged in this lesson? (If you are going to talk more, think more, explain more, engage more - the answer is you.)
2. Who will OWN the learning & DO the work? (If the students will have a chance to process, produce, and perform, THEY are doing the work. SCORE.)
3. Am I risking control in this lesson? (Hard one. As the instructional leader, you should always maintain control. I’m talking about controlling the space and the voice. Are the kids getting in the driver’s seat in this lesson?)
During the lesson, pay close attention to the following:
1. Talking for long, extended periods of time. Determine how many minutes you will talk before you feel like it’s time to let the students have a little bit of airtime. For me, it was 5 minutes. If I went OVER 5 minutes, I knew it was time to get the voices going.
2. Passive learning. Are the kids passive learners in the classroom or are they active? Active means they are doing something (copying does not count). What counts? Thinking, talking, acting, reading, writing, moving, grooving.
After the lesson, ask yourself the questions above, but in past tense. Reflect and react for the next class.
And, in case you ever really want some good data, ask the kids. Who talks more in this class about what we are learning, me or you? Watch their reactions closely. You might be surprised.
It’s not about me, it’s about you. What do you want to see on the blog?