My summer professional development included two book studies. My favorite book out of the two was definitely Teach Like a Champion by Doug Lemov. The book contains techniques that master teachers use on a daily basis to help students succeed. Each technique is broken down into a key idea, rules/methods, and examples. The book not only details the steps for each technique, but it also includes a DVD that shows video of master teachers modeling them in a real classroom. It is a book that you can read in little pieces, something that I really appreciate being a mom.
I was really struck by the rule “assume the best” (p. 205). According to Lemov, it is important to not “attribute to ill intention what could be the result of lack of distraction, lack of practice, or genuine misunderstanding.” Now, I feel that I am positive when it comes to my classroom manner. My students enjoy my class and generally feel good about themselves when they leave. However, when I ask my students to do something, I realize that I often frame it negatively.
Lemov, D (2010). Teach like a champion: 49
techniques that put students on the path to
college. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. (p. 109)
For example, when I have a student that isn’t on task, I sometimes say, “If you don’t get on task, I am going to have to start requiring you to stay after school to make up time.” Lemov points out that, by stating it this way, I am assuming that the student will not stay on task. The solution is to say “Show me your best SLANT” and walk away “as if you couldn’t imagine a world in which (the student) wouldn’t do it” (p. 206). Of course, you may have to go back a couple of times to make sure that the student knows exactly what is expected, but it tells the student EXACTLY what you want him or her to do.
Imagine what it would be like if you started this at the beginning of the year? Off-task behavior would still be there, of course, but I bet it would be much easier to get the whole class back on track if you reacted positively by stating high expectations and standards. The entire book is like that. I kept on having “aha” moments as I worked through it. If are looking for a book that will improve your classroom management almost instantaneously, this is definitely a book to check out!
Hi Elizabeth!I haven't read this book, but it sounds fabulous. It sounds like the lessons I've learned through a combination of Process Communication, 21 Keys, and Peer Coaching. It also sounds like it gives teachers more tips for staying away from power struggles. The book sounds like a win!Thanks for your reflective thinking. That's just one of the many reasons you are a fabulous educator!Kind regards,Tracy
Tracy,You are exactly right. It was one of those books that took my personal experience and my professional development, mixed it up in a pot, and cooked it up into little bite-size chunks. I would place it on the same level as Harry Wong. In fact, if I were running a mentoring program, I would make sure that my second year teachers read this book.Thanks again for commenting. It is so nice to know that someone is reading what I post!Elizabeth