Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Teaching with Intention: Final Thoughts

This fall I'm reading and reflecting on the book Teaching with Intention by Debbie Miller.


Final Thoughts


I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Debbie Miller challenged me to think about what I had done in the classroom, what I believe about teaching and learning, and how to make those two things match. I will be evaluating everything I think should be done in the classroom and match the thing to what I believe. 

She has challenged me to think about the environment, both physical and emotional. The way the classroom is arranged, the way students access materials, the way teachers and students interact, and the way thinking is made visible all contribute to the overall learning. And all those things should be connected back to what I believe.

I want to be more purposeful in what I do and how I do it. I want to drill down to discover where kids are in their understanding, building on what they know, and determine where to go next.

All in all, I think I will be a better teacher – at least a more intentional and purposeful teacher. I will no longer bounce among ideas and concepts at the wind of a curriculum. I want to take steps that connect my students with knowledge and the real world.

group time (Brick by Brick)

Some favorite quotes from the book---
  • “Real life isn’t scripted. Neither is real teaching.”
  • “Classroom environments are organic—they grow as we do. The best of them reflect the hearts and souls of those who inhabit them. They’re never really finished. They’re never really ‘done.’ How could they be, when every day students and teachers learn something new?”
  • “We want every one of [the students] to believe that what we are asking them to do is within their reach.”
  • “When getting it done takes precedence over doing, when finishing becomes more important than figuring out, we’ve lost sight of why we became teachers in the first place.”
  • “Do we race through the day in a frantic sort of way, or do we slow down, determine what’s essential, and teach those things deeply and well?”
  • “The expectation is that we will learn something today—let’s get together to talk about and celebrate it!”
I hope I can harness learning from this book and bring it to the kids I teach!

Check out the whole book study with these links.

1 comment:

  1. I love all the quotes, but my favorites have to do with time: “When getting it done takes precedence over doing, when finishing becomes more important than figuring out, we’ve lost sight of why we became teachers in the first place.”
    “Do we race through the day in a frantic sort of way, or do we slow down, determine what’s essential, and teach those things deeply and well?”

    When I did my observations and student teaching, I noticed teachers being frantic and racing. I felt unsettled and I imagined the kids would too. I noticed a lot was jumbled together, I guess to keep the kids busy. It was important the kids were busy and on task all day. I teach preschool, and I set out to think about what was important to me and what was important for the kids. Out of everything that could be done, what do they really need? One of them is story time. So I make sure when we do story time everyday, we really do have time to enjoy the story and discuss it rather than rushing to do an activity about the story right after reading it. I allow time for the kids to be able to tell me "again!" as I reread the story. The same for our nursery rhymes and songs that we do. Sometimes we will do a nursery rhyme 7 times! Many of those times the kids could do it yet again, but I am human after all. It took me a while to learn that and to realize that doing this is where the learning is taking place. That repetition was good for what I was hoping to do: oral language development. That I wanted thinkers and because of that discussion would take priority as well. Oh! But it took me time to be okay with doing this when all around me I saw different and it made me question my thoughts.

    I have enjoyed reading your blog and seeing how you keep learning and trying new things as well!

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