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.