Still loving my online class and particularly, the way that being in a community of teachers, even online, stimulates both thought and occasional surprising eloquence that I sometimes try to remember after class and set down. Today, I came up with six, nothing that I haven’t said before, but some new ways to articulate them. In the spirit of narrowing the focus instead of the constant side trips, I’m putting them out here two as a time. Whether or not you’re a teacher, hope they seem interesting.
Do it first. Some teachers in the U.S. are required to begin class by telling the children the learning objectives of the class. Telling the kids hat they’re going to learn might be a useful beginning occasionally, but takes away intrigue, mystery, surprise. It’s not an enticing beginning. It’s more of an adult notion not always friendly to kids’ mindset. But immediately doing something, setting up a riddle or a problem to be solved, beginning with humor, etc. is the best teaching, meeting kids where they are and from there, leading them to where they haven’t yet been.
Watch the children. Criteria for evaluating an educational strategy is not its credentials coming from an “educational expert.” Simply watch the children and their response. If they’re engaged, happy, connected, making progress, you’re on the right track. If not, throw out any notion of your “perfect class.”