Thursday, October 1, 2015

#272: I stopped doing the work!

When I was student teaching, my mentor teacher passed along something she had learned from Harry Wong, an educator with lots of books out: The one who's doing the work is doing the learning. My goal as a teacher is always to see how I can make the students do the work. This means that if I'm at the front of the room lecturing with the students taking notes, I'm the one doing the work, so the students are not doing the learning.

On Monday, I did the work. By the end of the day I was not a good teacher and I was not super nice to my students. Halfway through my last class of the day I realized what I was doing wrong: the students had been sitting and listening to me talk for about 25 minutes and they were done. I was done. The model for that day didn't work. I muddled through the rest of the period but was grateful to have figured out my problem.

Yesterday was better different. The students worked on a project for a little bit of the class.

Today, however, was AWESOME! I made a warm up for them to do, then the students worked on finishing their projects. Some classes even got as far as doing an online quiz game ( I spent my time walking around answering questions, entering grades into the grade book, and looking over the work the students were doing.

I learned so much! I now have a very good idea of what they know about our current topic (linear functions) and what they need to work on; I understand some of the common misconceptions; and I got to see how creative they really will be if I just let them!!

No comments:

Post a Comment