CollaborationYet as I read the essay, reflecting on my growing conviction over the years that genetic and prenatal influences are far more determinative of human outcomes than we used to credit, I wondered if the whole article exaggerated the importance of what a middle-school teacher contributes to the final product.
The next question is, are teachers at least using these 5 in their everyday lesson planning? And if so, how? The key is to use these skills to promote content in lesson planning, note taking, and assessments.I commented there, and expand upon it here.
Over the next few weeks I’ll share some lessons that you can do to address these skills and for you to mull over for Someday or use on Monday. Hope you’ll share some of your lessons with me and my readers in this thread as well. After all, collaboration is a key future skill and one that must be modeled by the teachers in the room.
This is not What Should Be Taught. This is a list of how we currently describe what bright, socially skilled, motivated students do already, and the businesses and colleges are telling us no more than “Hey, we’d like to have bright, motivated, socially skilled students. Make us more of those.” Most good students will pick up a lot of these skills on their own even with bad teachers. Even good teachers will have a hard time bringing these forth from dull, unmotivated students.
We all like to think what we do is important, perhaps even crucial or life-changing. It helps us get up in the morning and plow into the day's work even when we feel dull and unmotivated ourselves. Teaching is valuable and should be done well. But I think it is valuable primarily for the 10% of students whose life course is in doubt. Many will succeed in bad schools, many will fail in good ones. Guaranteeing them enough safety to concentrate, enough materials to have something to put their brains to work, and enough skill and good will from the adults to keep from damaging them, and the school has done 90% of its work. It is valuable to move even a small percentage of those from F's to D's, or from C's to B's, by better instruction. But moving kids from F's to C's, or C's to A's? That's rarer, and I think well less than 10%. Retrospective anecdotes tell us that some teacher rescued or ruined us by something they said or did. Eh, probably not.
I give the Buddha credit on this one. When the student is ready, the teacher appears.