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So What Makes a Great Teacher?

Doug Lemov writes in The Guardian about the revolution that could change the way your child is taught. He believes great teachers are made, not born – and his ideas are transforming education. 

(Excerpt from the full article)…Lemov never considered himself a brilliant teacher. When he taught at a school in a poor neighbourhood of Boston, he enjoyed training days, and left them eager to apply what he had learned in planning the next day’s lessons. Then the next day arrived, and his plan collapsed: instead of inspiring kids with his enthusiasm for English or history, he spent his time imploring them to be quiet when he was talking and to stop throwing pens. 

In the staffroom one day, a more experienced colleague gave him a piece of advice. “When you want them to follow your directions, stand still. If you’re walking around passing out papers it looks like the directions are no more important than all of the other things you’re doing.” This was a revelation. 

It was exactly the kind of guidance – clear, practical, precise – that Lemov had been missing. And it worked. 

Lemov, who has an MBA from Harvard, likes precision, and he likes to break a problem down into its component parts before putting together an answer. That was how he set about solving the problem of becoming a better teacher, and it is also how he thinks about the problem that preoccupies him more than any other: closing the “achievement gap” between poor students and everyone else. In fact he has come to see the two problems as inextricably linked… 

Read the full Guardian article here: http://www.theguardian.com/education/2015/mar/11/revolution-changing-way-your-child-taught

Monday, May 04, 2015

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Doug Lemov writes in The Guardian about the revolution that could change the way your child is taught. He believes great teachers are made, not born – and his ideas are transforming education. 

(Excerpt from the full article)…Lemov never considered himself a brilliant teacher. When he taught at a school in a poor neighbourhood of Boston, he enjoyed training days, and left them eager to apply what he had learned in planning the next day’s lessons. Then the next day arrived, and his plan collapsed: instead of inspiring kids with his enthusiasm for English or history, he spent his time imploring them to be quiet when he was talking and to stop throwing pens. 

In the staffroom one day, a more experienced colleague gave him a piece of advice. “When you want them to follow your directions, stand still. If you’re walking around passing out papers it looks like the directions are no more important than all of the other things you’re doing.” This was a revelation. 

It was exactly the kind of guidance – clear, practical, precise – that Lemov had been missing. And it worked. 

Lemov, who has an MBA from Harvard, likes precision, and he likes to break a problem down into its component parts before putting together an answer. That was how he set about solving the problem of becoming a better teacher, and it is also how he thinks about the problem that preoccupies him more than any other: closing the “achievement gap” between poor students and everyone else. In fact he has come to see the two problems as inextricably linked… 

Read the full Guardian article here: http://www.theguardian.com/education/2015/mar/11/revolution-changing-way-your-child-taught