Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #34
If you’re looking for an engaging listen or for some professional development, the Entreleadership podcast has been my go to for three years now. There is no question I’m a better teacher because of it.
This episode is spectacular: Andy Andrews – How Small Changes Help You Win.
Andrews works with business moguls, NFL and NCAAF coaches, and everyone in between to help them improve their business and coaching strategies.
I believe that teaching is coaching and vice versa, so when I saw this episode on my podcast app, my ears perked up.
And I hit the mother load.
Andrews’ take is not revolutionary by any means. You can boil it down to this – if you want to get results that are different than everyone else, then you have to do what everyone else isn’t doing.
Sounds simple, right?
But here is the catch: the best way to do this is to start with small – seemingly insignificant changes. Think of Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping Point here.
So what little changes can you enact that – over time and done with enough consistently – that will pay huge dividends down the road.
Here are the little things that I have changed over the past few years that have had the greatest impact on my teaching, the culture of my classroom, and impacted students the most.
Note --- none of these are world changing. If I can’t do them, anyone can.
Small change #3 – Take time to get to know you students on a personal level.
For me, this comes in the form of an assignment I give out on the first day of my classes: 111 Things About Me.
Students simply have to put 111 things about them on Drive. Then I look over them and learn about students. I’m focusing on trivial stuff mostly here. Who loves Iron Man? Who loves Nickleback? Who binge watches The Walking Dead? Who loves Star Wars? Who has been to 12 different countries? Who has 25 different pairs of Crocs?
This is all vital info that lets me know who the students really are in my class. Then over the semester, I can get to talk to them and tease them about these things. I doing that I’m showing them I care and that’s the foundation of culture.