11 January 2013

Reflection: A Few Disagreements with TLaC

Overall I'm actually enjoying the book, and I think it provides fantastic techniques to becoming a better teacher. Heck, I'm even reading it on a snow day. Nevertheless, I do not consider it the supreme source of all that is good in teaching. Here are my top two issues:

1. Practice Is Best
This might be a disagreement that stems from the type of class I teach, not with the philosophy itself. So far (I'm in the middle of chapter two) everything is about the lesson, the direct instruction. Being a computer teacher (for most of the day, at least), I feel like the practice is more important, or at least should take up more time. Like I said, this may not apply to all subjects, but I feel like my students grow more the less time I spend in front of them. However, this doesn't mean traditional direct instruction is bad, it just needs to be streamlined so that students have more time for the practice, and maybe Doug Lemov wouldn't disagree with that idea. I just need to make sure the activities they're practicing are derived from the objective, and not vice-versa.

2. Too Much Planning Can Be Bad
Maybe I'm not that good at planning, or maybe his examples are planning superheroes, but Lemov loves teachers who not only excruciatingly plan their lessons, but they memorize them as well. I prefer to respond to my class. Sometimes we get off topic because students are asking great questions. Lemov might not hire me into one of his super schools, but I'm OK with straying a bit from the objective. Of course, I also teach classes that have no state assessment, at least not yet. So considering I create my own curriculum and come up with my own class objectives, I think I have the leeway to change it.

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