Responsibility of the Learner

We need to make them take ownership of their learning

This week our conversation has centered on the phrase, “Whatever it takes–that’s the job of the teacher.” Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday we read “with the grain,” accepting the text for what it said, challenging ourselves with how we can add one more thing in our pursuit to do “whatever it takes.”

Today, we read “against the grain” and challenge the idea. And I will bring into the conversation a book I have picked up for summer readingVisible Learning for Literacy.

When I first read that phrase, “Whatever it takes,” I’ll admit, I was angry. Here’s why. When I step back and look at all my commitments–full-time teaching, marriage, three kids, involvement at church, active in the community where I live–I do a lot of juggling, blending, and balancing to do get it all done. And when someone comes along and says “whatever it takes” to me, in the midst of all I do, it comes across as holier-than-thou moralizing while wagging your finger at me.

If you read the earlier posts, clearly, I got over that initial anger. But, even then, I noticed something else was bothering me. And here it is:

What about the student? Are the students doing “whatever it takes?”

I have been part of meetings where student results come back below what we were expecting, and questions were asked about what interventions we can add to help the students succeed. What else could be done? That’s a good question to ask, but how many interventions are too many? Where is the line where we can look at what the teacher did, what the student did, and say, “Yep, that teacher did everything she could and the student did not respond.”  Continue reading “Responsibility of the Learner”

Collaboration – Whatever It Takes?

The challenge is you have to work with people

If you joined us for yesterday’s post, we challenged ourselves with a line from a book I was reading, “Whatever it takes–that’s the job of a teacher.” And just like yesterday, we are going to keep reading with the grain, accepting what the text says at face value.

Before we jump in, I have a confession to make: I have opinions, and I like talking about them! I have noticed that this makes collaboration more complex, and sometimes downright difficult. And I’m not talking about difficult for me, I’m talking about some of the poor souls that have had to work with me!  Continue reading “Collaboration – Whatever It Takes?”

Summer Reads

What are you reading?

Summer is here, and for most teachers that means getting to the books they have put aside for months. I have a growing list, but let’s keep it simple here.

These are my top five titles that I want to complete this summer, in no particular order:

  • Write Short Kindle Books: A Self-Publishing Manifest for Non-Fiction Authors by Nathan Meunier
  • Visible Learning for Literacy: Implementing the Practices That Work Best to Accelerate Student Learning by Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, and John Hattie
  • Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris
  • Well Spoken: Teaching Speaking to All Students by Erik Palmer
  • All These Shiny Worlds: The 2016 ImmerseOrDie Anthology by Jefferson Smith et al.

What are you reading?

Connect with me over at Goodreads.