Like many teachers, I saw the NYT article "Building a Better Teacher" pop up repeatedly in my Facebook and Twitter feeds as well as my e-mail inbox. The article featured Doug Lemov, a teacher turned charter school network director, who says he has spent years trying to nail down what behaviors make a great teacher. His book Teach Like a Champion: 49 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College, published in April, explains these techniques along with providing video clips demonstrating them.
I'm skeptical that what works in a few specific charter schools in the urban Northeast will apply to all or even most classrooms. And of course, I'm skeptical that good teaching can be reduced to "49 techniques." However, I'm always up for adding to my toolbox, so I'm replacing my yearly reread of Harry Wong's The First Days of School (which has the same nuts-and-bolts focus as Teach Like a Champion) with Lemov's book and blogging my way through it this summer to see what I can gain from it.
From my reading/blogging, I hope to reflect on what I do and what I can improve as I enter my 10th year of teaching. I won't cover all 49 techniques-- even at one a day, that would take me into next school year, when I will have Other Things To Do. I won't be quoting extensively from the book either. My intent isn't to duplicate the content of the book (hello copyright issues), but to review and reflect on it.
Next post, I'll be jumping right in with Technique 1, "No Opt Out."
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