Karen Wheeler, Instructional Coach
So my first assignment as we get ready to start the new school year is to introduce the 20 or so new teachers to the Division of Teaching and Learning which I happen to work out of. We have 2 1/2 hours, the first morning of their 3 days of orientation. I started thinking about when I was first hired. All I wanted was to see my classroom and get a copy of my textbooks (It was a long time ago, so forgive the need to get my hands on the textbook). After much debate, my colleagues and I have settled on doing a sample lesson with these new teachers. The lesson introduces some technology, uses some of Marzano's strategies and uses all 4 of the C's of 21st Century Skills. It took me a long time to settle on something that I felt truly represented what I wanted new teachers to know about teaching and learning. How do you show that every decision that is made needs to be about the kids soon to be sitting in front of them? That their grading policy needs to accurately tell what the students know and not how compliant they are with the rules? That they need to lose the textbooks and embrace the internet? That they should not be afraid to try anything that might hook in their students, even if it is out of their own comfort zone? That asking for help is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength and courage?