The Teacher's Lounge Episode 1: Evaluation
Higher, one I hope you can hear me okay. Today I'm trying something a little bit different, and then I'm going to. Somebody that I'm record on video and hopefully be able to post on Youtube instagram other social media sites. And to make into a bit of a podcast episode. Something I'm going to be starting to A. talking a little bit about teaching. And so this is going to be the first. The first episode in a series I'm calling the The, Teachers Lounge. Going to start a series of discussions around teaching. Because I've been moved to think more about what it means to teach. Especially now there were struggling with these issues around the covid nineteen shutdown. What it means for education going forward and the difficulties that. This new reality is presenting. So today, I wanted to talk a little bit about how I'm thinking around first steps. First steps four teaching in this new upcoming school year. So these first steps. Going to touch on a few points that I go into more depth on in the first, the first point WanNa talk about is Expectations. One of the reasons, I think that we saw. The end of the school year. Where a lot of students disappeared, fell off the radar, so to speak is because when this whole cove in nineteen. Event took place when the shutdown took place students had. Expectations about what to do. and. What was expected of them and that's entirely fair. I'm not complaining. I want to be clear. I'm not not attacking. They're complaining criticizing about the way things played out. Because how could you there? There was it was entirely new territory. Nobody knew what to expect. And there are still lots of unanswered questions and big question marks around. What's what to expect in the future? But a couple of things that I think we can check off about what to expect in the future. would be that. This is not going to be over when we head back to school in the fall. In fact I think one of the things that we can make sure we can be absolutely certain about. Is is that we will probably go into distance, learning and shelter in place as a nation. On more than one occasion in the coming school year. And so that has to be part of the expectations that we put out there for the students. That they should expect, and we should be expecting to not be in the same room to not have. A consistent environment in which we're altogether to go over the content and to to discuss learning. That it's going to be a mishmash, a hodgepodge dog's breakfast I. Love that term I don't love the reality of that term, but I like that term. That that learning, going to be a real mixed bag. So, the expectation is that we are going to have a rocky path in front of us. And that the. Nations are being addressed by. Understanding. Clarity. Communication? Accountability. Equity, Responsibility. Both for teachers. And for students. That's I think where have to go with this. Starting out the year. has made very clear to our students. that. We have expectations of each other. And whatever happens whatever the future throws at us as a group as a as a cohort as a as a community of learners. That we are going to follow these expectations and hold each other accountable. So with that if those expectations are very clearly laid out. By teachers for students. Then we can expect. A greater amount of success and engagement from our students. Over the course of what promises to be a very chaotic year. Clear expectations. That's where I want to start today. That's one start. This discussion in the Teacher's lounge is I'm calling this. The series of of. Communications. Clear expectations. Teachers need to lay how clear expectations even more now than they would on the very first day of school. Those first days of school. You know. Teachers always sweat them. Kids are paranoid and afraid. What to expect well. Teachers often spend a lot of time trying to put kids at ease on that very first day and we should continue to do that as teachers. But we should also ramp up the expectation talk. And say look this is this is worth it. He wouldn't be here. I wouldn't be here. And anything that takes us much time and effort. Is definitely worth it. You do the hard things because these things are worth with the hard things are worth. This is hard right education learning taking responsibility growing up. The hard stuff! Teachers are here to help. That needs to be expressed as well. But expectations. Lane out what they can expect. And what is expected of them? And this year I think we have to take as teachers as educators I think we have to take additional time. To? Make sure that that is. A discussion that doesn't just and go often times you know maybe maybe I'm not the only one who noticed, but oftentimes those first days come and go. A rush of excitement is kids are back from the summer? And they see their friends again and those those important papers in those important you know guidelines, rules, expectations talk. They kind of cut. Go out the window. I know I've often told kids that I expect them to read the syllabus for my course, and they never do. I can almost guarantee they won't. You know in past years I would often use my syllabus as as the foundational piece of my course and I would go back to it and make the kids pull out that syllabi or that syllabus and. And referred to it read it with me so that they knew that I was looking at it. It'd be an I expected them to look at it. So the syllabus became something that I. Constantly brought out again and again. And if kids lost it or threw it away I gave him another copy, and if they lost that, I gave him another copy, because I expected them to throw it away. But I also wanted them to know that I expected them to know what was in it, because I was holding them to that expectation. So. This year the expectation has to be a little bit different than in past years. Whereas expectations might have been something around. You know doing homework. Behavior in class communication respect. Those are all there of course not getting rid of anything I'm only. amping up terrain in, adding to. What we would already do teachers. Because! This is a different year. So! The expectation that I would add. would be that. There's more expected of students in the future because we're not going to be together because we're going to have to face adversity and we're going to have to not have the con- The consistency. That, we have grown accustomed to in the past. So. I would make that very clear I expect more of them. And they can expect more me to. Write in order in order to overcome the difficulties of distance learning teachers like myself and others are going to have to. Change Our game. You know. Do More of what! Needs to be done. Lot less than what has worked in the past. So growth opportunity, and that can be scary for teachers as well as for kids. So. I would explain to them that I. AM expecting more of them. And they can expect more of me in terms of outreach. Compassion consideration, second chances that those are things I'm willing to extend definitely I. Think I think that's a no brainer. But of my students I would make it very clear that the following things. I expected them more this year than in past years. And that's an understanding on their part that they understand that expectations are going to be greater and different. I also expect them to. Work on their own. I'm going to be using the flipped classroom model and I'll talk more about that in another teacher's lounge. Message that's coming in the next couple of days. But I'm going to expect that they make the most of the time we do have together. The flipped classroom model puts a lot of expectations on students to do. The work the passive learning outside of class. If, we are together in a classroom, I can't have my students. Show up to find out what they need to know. They need to walk in with questions about what they don't understand already. To make the most of the time that we do have together. I can't do the passive learning and the active integration the deep dives. The inquiry questions. I can't do all of that. In the short amount of time that I'm GonNa have the small number of students that come to my room. In past years I've had thirty six in her classroom. Had five classes of each. I don't think that's going to happen this year. I mean I don't know how you can fit thirty six in traditional classroom, each six feet, apart, wearing a mask and maintaining that social distance the whole time. Schools weren't designed for that. So the expectations that we're going to have to approach it a little bit differently. We're GONNA have fewer kids in each class. That number is being worked out right now, but it's GonNa. Be Less not more. Can have benefits. We'll talk more about that another day another day. Another teacher's lounge message. But I would make it very clear to my students that because there are fewer of them in front of me, and because there's more time away from each other that the expectations they're gonNA. Turn off and get lost and and and and give up. I expect them to fight on. Through adversity. And to know that I'm there to help them if they struggle. And I can text I can pick up the phone I can email. I can do a video chat. I can do anything. I can be there just not physically. All the time. And I would make that clear to them. I expect them to reach out to me if they struggle and I expect them to show up. Having already gone through that struggle at least once. They don't show up all the answers. That wouldn't be what they wouldn't show if they did have all the answers. There's no reason for them to show up. They had all the answers. But I want to show up with all the questions. I wanted to show up with all the questions. And, then when we're together, I want to answer those questions with them, not for them with them. because. I'm not going to answer the questions for them for the rest of their life. But. I'm going to each them how they can have the skills necessary to answer the questions for themselves. To their satisfaction for the rest of their life critical thinking, that's what lies the heart of my teach critical thought. How are these kids going to think critically when I'm not sitting next to them or standing over them or sitting or we're talking in front? So they should show up with the questions and walk through those questions together and. I'll also tell them that they can expect me to. Give them more, questions. To deepen their understanding. And, they should also expect an I make this promise every year. This is not a new expectation. New Approach but not a new expectation. What are the expectations? I tell my students to have is that they will be better at the end of our time together than they are at the beginning. I feel like that's a basic expectation that any educator can make of. Themselves and offer as a promise to their students that by being together and going through this journey, and and learning these things in gaining these skills, they will be better. At the end. Then they are at the beginning. I, kinda couch it to them in this way, and this is part of my first day speech. Say Look. This is this is not going to be easy, but it's going to be worth it. And, If it was just easy, or if I didn't challenge them in, call them out. Well, I mean think about that think about that in terms of anything other than teaching an academic class or in my case US history. Suppose you showed up for a sports team, baseball, softball, volleyball, football, and and suppose you lost every game by huge lopsided outcome. Football. Let's go with that because it's so popular. Why but it is! And suppose you lost football game sixty four to nothing, but the coach said Oh good job. You did great. You feel proud of yourself well. Okay I suppose, but she. Would you call that a good coach? Would you WANNA be a part of a? Tradition that left you know better off at the end than you were at the beginning, but me gave you pat on the back. Anybody can give you a pat on the back, and we all should give each other pats on the back nothing against. PATS on the back. But. I think we all know that that's not a good coach. Now would not be a good teacher. If a student athlete. Is consistently underperforming and not getting any better. The question has to be asked. What's that teacher doing? To improve the outcome for that team for that athlete. Or if it's a teacher for that student. So I tell them. I won't accept? Falling Short. Failure is. A learning experience. And that's another lesson another topic for another teacher's lounge conversation. But I you know, let's walk through those failures together and learn from them. Right. Failures only bad if you don't learn from it. And then I will push them to grow and learn from their failures. Learn from their shortcomings so that at the end they are better than they are at the beginning. That's I. Think what learning is all about? That's what teachers are all about. Good teachers. So the expectation is that they will try that. They will have a greater investment at the beginning of the year that they have more on their shoulders more responsibility for their own learning. But that they're going to be supported. and. They're gonNA. Be Improved. All throughout that experience. So clear expectations. That's my message for today. I WANNA. Just mention that this is the beginning of a series. I'm calling the teacher's Lounge. where I'm going to be talking about teaching. My approach. Ideas, that I have. And I invite your comments. Invite your questions. If there's a topic about teaching that you WanNa hear about. Three questions that you want answers to. I can't guarantee odd have them, but I'll definitely give effort and energy to finding out what other people think about it. I want to encourage you to send messages comments suggestions. and. I'll give you a shout. Definitely give you a shot up. If you're interested in learning more about learning I also want you to check out study doe dot Org. As well as the steady job facebook group that I've started. To, post a lot of information on those pages. If you go to study Dojo Dot, think if dot com, you'll find the course that I have recently put out. There United States history to eighteen, seventy seven. I'm going to be using a lot of the Maya best ideas around teaching around the teaching of the curriculum in US history for at least the first half of the school year. And I encourage you to consider signing up for that course. And walking through that journey with me as well. Any well I'm going to wrap it up. Just wanted to say. Thank you for listening and. I hope that you'll subscribe to this. You'll give us a like. You'll spread the word Hashtag. History Dojo has hashtag studied. Though Joe. Hashtag Teachers Lounge. And let others know. That this there are there are conversations being had about this and that you can be part of it. Intelligent caring compassionate teaching is. Essential work. First responder work. and. Right now just seems ever more important that we understand that and that we bring our voices together. To remake education. In a better way. My Name's Tyler Rust I'm a writer for history Dojo I'm the e learning entrepreneur. It studied. Oh, Joe Dot, think if dot com. And really grateful for you being here. Thank you so much.