Want to Teach Like a Champion? Read this book

04/07/2016

You're teaching a science lesson to your class of third-grade students, and ask a question to one student about photosynthesis. He gives you a blank stare, shrugs his shoulders and says, "I dunno." What's your next move when this happens? Ask another student? Keep pressing him until he gives you an answer? Offer the correct answer to the class?  

As a teacher, you'll face tough scenarios like this every day, and a book called Teach Like a Champion 2.0 by Doug Lemov was written to provide practical advice to help you best approach these situations. Based on countless hours of observing and documenting effective teaching practice, his goal is to provide teachers with a definitive guide to get better so that students can learn more. 

For the situation above, Lemov provides not just one, but four, strategies for teachers to try when a student hesitates to answer a question:

  1. Provide the answer and ask the student to repeat it.

  2. Ask a different student (or the entire class) to provide the answer and then ask the original student to repeat it.

  3. Provide a hint which the student uses to come up with the answer.

  4. Ask a different student to provide a hint to the first to use to come up with the answer.

To write this book, Lemov went right to the best source of wisdom about classroom management--real teachers who are successful in the classroom. He observed and recorded hundreds of hours of teaching to learn what effective instructors did to create an environment where students can learn. The book is full of tips and strategies that teachers can use, and he's even updated the book with even more advice in the second edition (hence the 2.0).  

With a book that's so useful for future teachers, you might expect to see it pop up as required reading in your teacher preparation program. Unfortunately, that's just not the case. When NCTQ looked at how often the first edition of Teach Like a Champion was used in teacher preparation programs, we found that only 7 out of 122 programs included this practical guide in their courses, meaning that far too many aspiring teachers aren't learning about this resource while in college.

The good news for you? You can buy this book and read about the tips on your own. If you're interested in checking out this resource, click here.

— Autumn Lewis
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