February 2012 Archives

In my recent post, Don't Prevent Students' Mistakes, Prepare for Them, I wrote that lesson planning should be more about anticipating students' errors and preparing to help them learn from those errors than trying to develop presentations that prevent all errors. "Sounds good in theory," a teacher said when I made this point at a workshop. "But HOW do we anticipate and prepare to help students learn from their errors?" "Most important," I replied, "you must do what I think of as teachers' homework--working through before class everything you'll be presenting, reviewing, or assigning during class." Yes, everything--opening "Do Now," ...


"Hello fellow teachers," a student said to a few colleagues and me as we walked down the hall. "Since when are you a teacher?" one of my colleagues replied. I was surprised by this response, and thought of Paulo Freire's belief that all of us are both students and teachers. I also thought of my students, who taught me more about how to--and how not to--treat them and teach them than I learned from education courses, in-service training, or supervisors' feedback. I learned from students who told me I needed to talk less and listen more. I learned from students ...


In my first post on this blog, here's what I wrote about my early struggles as an urban teacher: Just six weeks in, and with my classroom already up for grabs, insult and injury came when I was decked by a stray elbow while trying to break up a fight in class. As it turned out, though, this physical blow was far less staggering than the emotional one I sustained just five minutes later. On my way downstairs for an icepack, I looked out the window and saw a young man's body in a pool of blood. I never felt ...


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