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Risk, Reflection and “DOH!”

September 5, 2013

So today we went with some model lessons … Here is how it went down:

Immediately as the instruction began, I realized that what I had so carefully planned simply was not going to work. Within one minute I knew I had planned too much teacher talk, not enough relevant connection and kid doing – plain and simple –  I planned too much.  As I stood staring at 23 bored, fiddling fingers, foot tapping 4th graders and tried to change direction on the fly, the principal walked in as well to observe. So anyhow… I did begin to feel the sweat come on and a bit of nerves… and as a coach, a worst fear is always a floppy model lesson… But eh, it happens to all of us. We carry on and learn from it. 

I tried something and I tried it not the best way. If it were my own class I would have pulled the plug and revamped it for the next day. Instead, we shortened it up, the teacher and I talked on the fly about changes we should have made and how we could have done it more effectively. I went immediately back to my room and re-planned the lesson, made changes to the unit plan and shared the discovery and changes I made out. 

So my point is this – make a plan, try it – if it doesn’t work, reflect and try it again or make a note for next lesson or for next year. It’s okay to take risks in your teaching. And it is okay for the lesson to flop – as long as you learn and reflect and make a change in your practice from it. 

The plan I had today – in hindsight – feels like Homer Simpson “DOH!” But that’s okay. Carry on.  Image


And as the Grade 5 Unit Plan EDIT shows … Don’t try to introduce ALL the unit vocab in one day. 


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