teachable moments…

21 01 2007

Found this online and was struck by how this should be what is able to happen in my classroom. Unfortunately, with pacing charts and the city’s limitations on how I can teach in my own classroom, it’s just not possible anymore. Sad.

“But the best classes, for me, always seem to be the
ones that go sailing off in some direction I hadn’t
anticipated. I used to worry about having to pull the
kids “back on track.” In recent years I’m more
interested in trying to explore with them where the
new track is leading. Truth to tell, a great deal of
my lesson “planning” is actually done after the fact,
trying as you say, to figure out, given today’s
surprises, what would be a good thing to do next.

And all of that connects to the objection that I think
we both share to curriculum design driven by
standardized testing. There’s no room there for side
tracks, we’ve got to get to page 48 by Thursday.

The artfulness of teaching is about knowing when and
how to respond on the fly to things you hadn’t
anticipated. And if you don’t provide room for those
things to happen, if you don’t give the students room
to make them happen, education devolves into something
mechanical and soul-deadening.”




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