Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #111
Ten Questions to Help You Become a Better Teacher This Year.
Question #1 – Why are my most powerful units powerful?
Excellent questions to reflect on.
Dave Burgess always refers to these as LCLs – Life Changing Lessons.
While I won’t go that far, I will say that my most powerful lessons are the most powerful for a couple different reason.
Reason #1 – my passion. Kids aren’t naturally hyped to read “The Yellow Wallpaper” or “Young Goodman Brown,” but when I introduce them with such passion and gusto, they can’t help but get a little intrigued by this. I’ve planted a seed.
Reason #2 – connection to their lives. If I have any talent at all, I can make material relevant to students’ lives. Once this happens, students can start making their own connections to the unit and applying it to their lives. In College Comp, I have students write a how to essay on ‘how to survive college’ – even though they haven’t even attended college yet. To get the ball rolling, I show them a video from MTV’s Real Life called “I’m a College Freshman.” In the episode there is a skeezball guy named Pedro who is only going to college to get girls and party.
When I introduce the video to the class, I make all the girls promise me that they will avoid all Pedros when they see them, for college is full of Pedros.
I will always get a couple texts from students when they go off to college about the Pedros these see. Sara Korpi once texted me saying, “Mr. Reynolds, I saw my first Pedro today at NDSU, and I totally snubbed him.”
Since the seed was planted with my passion, it begins to take root and grow because of how I tried to connect it to the lives of kids, it begins to develop even more.