Monday, December 11, 2017

Eavesdropper, door propper

I've been dialing down direct instruction as one of my classroom modes for about 18 months now. In some (many?) cases, that frustrates my students. The ones who feel this way say, "You're not teaching us" -- or comparable crushing accusations.

Today, though, as I circulate after a mini lesson and observe students working, I overhear one talking to himself or maybe to his neighbor, sotto voce. "I really need to stop procrastinating," he says. "I should probably look at Mr. Rozinsky's sample writing to figure out what to do."

Words like his kindle my flickering hope: What if "not teaching" props side and back doors that students' themselves eventually push open to learning?

My doubts fade, for a moment.

8 comments:

  1. Bravo for pushing students to take ownership. I know your worry and the frustration of students. It is one of constant observation and adjustment.

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  2. Finding that balance ... ack ... and hearing a student complain about us not teaching ... double-ack ... but your final thoughts about student empowerment and inquiry and independence? Spot on.
    Kevin

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  3. Empowering students is teaching- just different. It sounds like you are on the right path and your students know it (most days).

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  4. Wow. Your insightful posts captures just how hard it is to do the right thing. Teaching often looks to students as not teaching because they miss feeling the hand tugging them along. Sounds like your student felt the support of your hand by his side, waiting for him to make the move. "...for a moment." Love.

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  5. Back in the 70s I read “Sumnerhill” as part of Students need guidance, but that doesn’t mean they need lecture ever minute if every class. I cringe at the thought students might see me as someone who doesn’t teach, and there’s a big difference between assigning writing and teaching writing.

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  6. What's better than that moment Brian. Fix it in your memory when you need to remember. I love hearing that there's learning ownership :)
    The best present
    Bonnie

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  7. Variety provides opportunities that routine (monotony?) obstructs. 'Sotto voce! speaks volumes. !hcaeT

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  8. This is what we need to think about. We can't lead the children. We need to help them to lead themselves. I heard someone say (long ago) that the best teachers set the conditions and get the Hell out of the way. That's been my goal (in teaching kids and adults) throughout my career. It takes longer, but I believe it's the way to go!

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