Friday, August 10, 2012

Student Centered or Teacher Centered lessons...

How about a story? 
So there we were. Two of us were just assigned a co-teaching assignment, aka CWC, where there were two teachers; a content teacher and a Special Education teacher; to serve a very diverse group of students.  We wondered what it would look like.  During some effective professional development, we were introduced to six techniques for working as a team. 

Our Favorite:  TEAM TEACHING.  In team teaching, both teach at the same time, interacting together in front of the entire class and talking through the content.  The results were often dynamic and interactive after some practice, but tough to pull off if insecurities and competition exist between the two professionals.

While teaching one day, I was standing in the back of the room, "playing" dumb while the other teacher was explaining things to me while I roamed the room and we presented the lesson.  IT WAS WONDERFUL.  The next hour however, I missed the benefit of the co-teacher in the room and felt like an ingredient was missing.
Then it hit me.  I COULD HAVE A STUDENT ACT AS A CO-TEACHER, standing up and writing on the board.  I could continue to roam the room, watch students working at their desks, and "play" dumb in the back of the room.  This evolved into students sharing in the actual instruction, connecting with their peers and actually taking ownership in the learning. 
It was a step away from a teacher centered classroom to a student centered classroom!  It was also fabulous.

Suggestion: Take a risk this year and commit to trying a few new techniques.  Then provide feedback to peers and celebrate successes and failures! 

I heard once, "a wise man learns from other peoples mistakes!"

We may be only Winfield, but we are going to be on the map.

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