What do all of the following have in common?
- in football – tackling drills, passing routes by receivers, extra points, “Run it again!”
- in baseball – batting practice, “situations”, hitting your cut-offs
- in basketball – free throws, lay-ups, three pointers, press break, in-bounds plays
In order to be good at these skills, you have to practice them. You learn them by doing them. You don’t get good at them by just having the coach TELL you how to do it. To get good at these skills you have to do them. You learn by doing.
I read an article written by Alan Haskvitz, in which he outlines traits of great teachers. Great teachers keep their students off balance. They are not boring. They challenge the students. They motivate the them to do their best.
Great teachers are diverse. They have to be because not all students learn the same way (contrary to popular belief by some teachers). We all have different learning styles and the great teacher uses many different methods to reach their students.
Great teachers create an environment where students are independent. They can get answers on their own. They are not spoon-fed. They learn by doing. This will promote a deeper understanding for the students.
Great teachers set high expectations and bring out the best in their students. Great teachers encourage risk-taking, knowing that sometimes the students will make mistakes and sometimes even fail. They learn by doing.
Great teachers are also, and will always be, students. They must be constant learners themselves. They learn by doing. They set the example that learning is something good.
As a teacher, it is our job to set up the classroom environment that is conducive to learning. As an administrator, it is our job to set up the school environment that is conducive to learning. We all know this. It’s nothing new. But, it unfortunately is not always the case in every classroom in every school.
What do we have to do to get it to be this way? I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Leave a comment and let me know what you think.