Demystify Learning

Jackson explains that teachers have an obligation to help our students be successful in our content area. We aren’t merely dispensers of content, we are also content coaches. In a nutshell, teachers need to be as explicit as possible. We need to use whatever tools we have to make the learning transparent. We must strive to remove doubt and confusion. The onus is on the teacher.

Funny, I struggle with this in our Spanish Immersion program. I joke that is has become more of a “submersion” program because we are mandated to maintain the target language at all times, even if the student does not understand us. I’ve received some wonderful training over the years that supports a lot of what Jackson writes about in this section – teaching to the barometer student, frequent comprehension checks, go slow, translate for comprehension (sparingly), etc, yet this is often frowned upon in the immersion world. These skills may be contrary to the mandate, but they work. Kids learn.

Teach deeply vs. broadly. Clarity beats velocity (go slow). Teach to their eyes. Breath.

I think I’ll put those four pieces of advice on poster board and hang them in the back of the room to remind me on a daily basis that I’m to teach kids, not trick them.

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