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How do my personal passions show up in a “test-driven” world? Overarching Objectives

Table 2.1 The Important Questions of Teaching and Areas of Performance

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T H E S K I L L F U L T E A C H E R14

THE SKILLFUL TEACHER | FRAMEWORK

In successful teaching, comprehensiveness, repertoire, and matching are what count: comprehensive awareness of all of the areas of performance involved in running a successful classroom; repertoire so that one has options to work with and draw on when addressing a given aspect of classroom life; and matching: making decisions about which tool will be most effective to use in a given situa- tion. Ultimately, matching is the name of the game.

This is the foundation for successful differentiation. We are conceptualizing our knowledge base as a large set of repertoires to accomplish a range of purposes. Purposes that are different but interactive and that are simultaneously present in the complex human environment that all classrooms are. This position honors the design and problem-solving nature of what teaching is. A similar point is made by Mary Kennedy (2016) in her analysis of the nature of teaching.

To illustrate this, consider a simple management concern: dealing with intru- sions. A teacher is instructing a small group when a student outside of the group (Jimmy) is stuck on an item on a worksheet and approaches the teacher for help. The challenge for the teacher is maintaining the momentum of the instructional group while simultaneously addressing Jimmy’s needs. There are several options for how the teacher can handle this: (1) wave Jimmy off, (2) wave Jimmy in but signal him to be silent until there is an appropriate pause to give help, (3) redirect Jimmy to another student for help, or (4) proactively teach students what to do when the teacher is engaged in an instructional group. No one of these options is inherently better teaching. Each could be an effective and most appropriate response in a particular situation. For instance, if Jimmy doesn’t have the confidence or social skills to approach another student for help, then waving him in may be better than redirecting. But if Jimmy is overly dependent on the teacher, waving him off may be the best choice, especially if the teacher believes Jimmy can do it himself if he tries again. The teacher’s success in han- dling Jimmy will depend on whether she knows the options available for dealing with the situation and can choose the best response by matching the options to the specific situation.

There are many ways of dealing with each of the major areas of teaching identi- fied in our list of questions, and skillful teaching involves continually broad- ening one’s repertoire in each area and picking from it appropriately to match given students, groups, situations, or curricula. The knowledge base about teaching identifies choices available in each of these performance areas, avail- able for anyone to learn, refine, and do skillfully. This book presents options for each performance area, illustrates them with examples, and offers what is known about how to choose which is best for the moment.

 

 

T H E S K I L L F U L T E A C H E R 15

THE SKILLFUL TEACHER | FRAMEWORK

Figure 2.3 Patterns

T E N A C I T Y C O N T I N U U M

F O U N D AT I O N O F E S S E N T I A L B E L I E F S

Attention Momentum Discipline

Clarity

Space RoutinesTime

Principles of Learning Models

of Teaching

Expectations

Personal Relationship Building

Classroom Climate

Assessment Differentiated Instruction

Planning Objectives

Curriculum Design

Overarching Objectives

Management

Instructional Strategies

Motivation

Curriculum

ABSTRACTIONS

Figure 2.2 Moves

T E N A C I T Y C O N T I N U U M

F O U N D AT I O N O F E S S E N T I A L B E L I E F S

Attention Momentum Discipline

Clarity

Space RoutinesTime

Principles of Learning Models of Teaching

Expectations

Personal Relationship Building

Classroom Climate

Assessment Differentiated Instruction

Planning Objectives

Curriculum Design

Overarching Objectives

Management

Instructional Strategies

Motivation

Curriculum

PATTERNS

T E N A C I T Y C O N T I N U U M

F O U N D AT I O N O F E S S E N T I A L B E L I E F S

Attention Momentum Discipline

Clarity

Space RoutinesTime

Principles of Learning Models of Teaching

Expectations

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