Monday, September 3, 2012

Sitting is Hard Work

It's a good thing we have those Teacher Conference Days right before school starts.  Most times, there is a little bit of important information shared and lots of talk by those who had to work all summer (administrators for the most part). This year, there really were some important messages as we adopt a new teacher evaluation system and fully implement the Common Core Standards while making sure that bullying does not ever happen. 
However, the biggest reminder to me was that sitting in a chair and listening passively is hard work.  Really hard work.  I was exhausted after a day spent listening!  On the second day, when we actually worked on creating shared documents, I was far less tired!  All this was a big reminder for me: sitting still and listening for long periods of time (more than 20 minutes) is hard work, specially after a long summer "vacation"!
My suggestions for teachers:
1) Keep them moving around (see above)
2) Engage everyone in every pupil response techniques (see above)
3) Encourage them to talk to each other. (see above)
4) Let them learn by doing whenever possible (see above).
5) Think about Cambourne as you plan for learning (see above)

1 comment:

marika said...

After spending two days in teachers' classrooms on the first day of school, I couldn't agree more with your observations of how HARD it is to sit and listen! We talk a lot about "building stamina" at our school--and one of the things students are building stamina in is sitting! But there's also lots more to be said about the power of engagement here. Teachers at my school use Turn-and-Talk often. But I wonder if they are clear about the reason that this is a school norm and expectation. It's not just because "Kids can't all say their idea to a teacher, so they have to say them to a partner." It's so all kids ARE learning!! (I had a professor once who said "They can't think it if they don't say it.")