Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Teaching Tip #29

Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #29

Now you have to admit that the title of this article catches your interest, right?

And what is this curse?

Living our lives according to bells and not know really what to do when our days aren’t segment by bells?

Eating like a mad person, trying to devour a meal in just 25 minutes (not counting passing time)?

Struggling to find a name for your child (or pet) because you’ve had so many students over the years that whenever you settle on a possible name, you think of an annoying, disrespectful, for troubled student by that same name?

Never having free time in the evenings since there are always papers to grade, lessons to tweak, material to read?

Lugging home a huge pile of papers on Friday and having that sinking feeling, come Sunday, that you didn’t get enough corrected and, thus, you won’t be able to return them to students on Monday as you promised?

Living in constant fear of a student recognizing your voice as you order at the drive thru?

I could go on, but those aren’t the curses at all.

The real curse?  Knowledge.

Here is why –

All of the resources describe the same phenomena -- that a strong base of content knowledge makes us blind to the lengthy process of acquiring it. This curse has implications for all teachers:
  • We do not remember what it is like to not know what we are trying to teach.
  • We cannot relive the difficult and lengthy process that learning our content originally took.
As a result, we end up assuming that our lesson's content is easy, clear, and straightforward. We assume that connections are apparent and will be made effortlessly. Assumptions are the root cause of poor instruction. And acknowledgment is the first step to recovery.
I’m guilty as charged.

I can think immediately of how I struggle and anger so quickly when my CC 2 students struggle to get down their first APA formatted paper.  It’s simple enough.  But nothing is simple enough – I guess – when you’re doing it for the first time.

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