Up The Cuts
The evaluations are good, the looks on peoples' faces walking out were good, and for a bunch of folks who spend their days plowing through all-morning summer school and all-afternoon sessions on how to teach well, feeling good about a pseudo-optional workshop that concludes at 6:00 pm is high praise indeed.
What struck me watching the presentation is that while Dan and I were educated in the ways of the teacher in vastly different settings -- he the traditional route through a UC, I churned through the gears of Teach For America -- we've arrived at remarkably similar understandings of how to what we do. We share a certain baseline approach that isn't, as far as I know, taught as a full conceptional and pedagogical -ism. We're making our own -ism.
1) You're teaching in the age of YouTube, myspace, TV, and video games -- act like you understand what that means
2) Different is your management
3) Teach skill-based instruction geared toward content mastery rather than content coverage
4) Use skill-based remediation
5) Consistently and repeatedly offer chances for assessment
6) Teach for the ones who aren't ready, don't like the subject, and don't like you
I'm sure there's more, but I sat there thinking about how rarely I hear other people talking about teaching in ways that reflect, mirror, or relate to how I go about the process in East San Jose, and how strange it was that I had to go to Oakland and listen to a high school math teacher from Santa Cruz to do so.