This is part one of my blogging challenge.
As a veteran teacher it is easy to fall into the trap of doing things a certain way just because I’ve done them that way for years, without remembering the reason why.
I’ve decided to set myself a blogging challenge – experiment with and reflect on some of the small changes recommended in John Fanselow’s “Small Changes in Teaching, Big Results in Learning” so as to see how I can keep honing my teaching skills.
Fanselow certainly knows how to attract a veteran teacher’s attention. That is no small matter. As an EFL teacher of Deaf and Hard of Hearing students I don’t actually expect authors to be familiar with my specific classroom setting. I’m used to adapting everything. However, I do need strategies that are applicable for teachers in the national school system with a full work load.
For starters, there’s the title. I never would have chosen a book for my blogging challenge that called for “overhauling your teaching”! “Small Changes”, one “tweak a time” – now we’re talking.
Now forget the title. Take a look at this from the foreword, which Amazon lets you read for free without purchasing the book (No, this is not one of those blogs that has the blogger earning money from clicks on Amazon…):
“My suggestion is for you to be as skeptical about your present practices as the alternatives I urge you to try.”
“…you must not only not believe anything I say but anything anyone else says. Do one of your usual activities, make a small change and compare the effects, over and over and over.”
Fanselow is offering me a “win – win” situation.
A small change leads to better results? Win!
The old way gets better results? Now there’s a reason and a rationale for doing things this way. Win!
Join me on this blogging challenge as I experiment in class, starting off with the effects of “Read and Look Up” on my students!
You will find that in the next post.