Ego Has no Place in the Classroom

Leslie Hooks, global education magazineLeslie Hooks

Tenured sculptor of little minds

E-mail: [email protected]

Blog: lesliehooks1.wordpress.com  / Twitter: @lesliehooks1920 

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Reteaching…”How many more times do I have to tell you the same information? Oh, if you would just listen instead of talking to your friends, you might have gotten something from my lesson!” If you’ve been in education more than a week, unfortunately you’ve probably heard that very comment and many more like it. I’m going to play the good guy. I don’t think teachers want to reteach instruction; as a matter of fact, I KNOW teachers don’t want to reteach. Why? It’s common human thought. Who wants to keep repeating themselves over and over? “If you don’t understand the lesson, I’ll go over it again. If you still don’t get it, I’m referring you to tutoring.” Aha! And there you have it! There it is! The problem is not the reteaching, but the absence of NEW methods. Every year when I address new teachers, I am adamant in the importance of understanding the difference between reteaching and teaching  differently. I’ll give you a moment to reread that last sentence…

Reteaching vs. teaching differently. It goes back to the definition of insanity: continuing to do the same things over and over expecting a different result. This is the danger with reteaching. It is so important, no imperative, that teachers understand that reteaching is not simply repeating the instruction, but rather REDELIVERING the instruction in a different way. A. Different. Way. Reteaching is probably as critical as the initial instruction, as it provides an opportunity to ‘catch’ the students who slipped by. But in order for that to happen, there needs to be real conversation about why reteaching occurs. Now, I won’t sit here and say every time a student struggles, it is the fault of the teacher, but with that, when such happens, regardless of fault, as educators, it is our responsibility to redress the instruction and more importantly, our responsibility to reflect on our instruction and identify where changes can be made to maximize the potential for student achievement. Ego has no place in the classroom.

Lesson Planning vs. Planning a Lesson

A lesson plan is a teacher’s detailed description of the course of instruction for individual lessons and/or units of study.  Before a lesson plan can be created, teachers must have a firm grasp of the curriculum, its pacing, and how it will affect daily classroom instruction. Lesson plans help teachers articulate a long-term view of the curriculum. They also allow teachers to make decisions with regard to pacing, testing and scaffolding for the varying student levels.

As a curriculum specialist, I am often asked to assist teachers and other student stakeholders with developing lesson plans around a skill or unit of study.  Developing a lesson plan is one of the most critical components of teaching and instruction. Lesson plans are not synonymous with planning a lesson. A lesson plan is the written identification of what will be taught and the materials that will be used.

Planning an effective and engaging lesson involves the deliberate study of instructional materials, and the identification and organization of materials and manipulatives, including enrichment and intervention components. When a teacher plans a lesson, he/she must determine:

  • how the instructional block will flow:
  • how students will transition from one lesson component to another;
  • how struggling students will be addressed during the instruction;
  • how advanced students will be accelerated during the instruction; and, among other things,
  • how reteaching will be addressed.

When teachers are deliberate with planning a lesson, the learning trajectory and meaningful student engagement is clearly exposed.  Students don’t want to feel like they accidentally came to school.  It is always very apparent when a teacher isn’t prepared…when the delivery of instruction is compromised, so is the learning. Let me say that again, in case you missed it….” When the delivery of instruction is compromised, so is the leaning…SO IS THE LEARNING!

As instructional leaders it is imperative, no, CRUCIAL, that we begin to have real conversations on how the school environment is playing a role on planning lessons. If testing continues to be a primary driver of pedagogical decisions, then we, as a system, are failing our children. We can no longer educate children with a lesson plan, but rather through planning a lesson, our children will be blessed with an engaging, and meaning learning experience.  Lesson Plans vs. Planning a Lesson…Got plans?

BE THE CHANGE: The L. Hooks Project Breathes New Hope Into The Future Of Our Children’s Education. Supervisors and faculty are fed up with the state of our education system and they are looking to make a change. Leslie Hooks’ new blog, Be The Change: The L. Hooks Project, focuses on challenging teachers, administrators and parents to commit to our childrenʼs futures through more engaging, real world learning experiences.

This article was published on 10th December: Human Rights Day, in Global Education Magazine.

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