Techniques of Teaching

Bronx, New York, USA

I’ve been hearing about Doug Lemov’s book for more than two years, and it’s been on my “to buy when I’m back in America” list since I first heard it mentioned. I almost bought it yesterday, but decided I should wait till I got my first paycheck in September … or at least the last of my summer stipend!

It’s lucky I didn’t buy it yesterday, because today all 450 New York City Teaching Fellows received a copy of Teach Like a Champion: 49 Techniques That Put Students on the Path to College by Doug Lemov!

Obviously, I haven’t read it yet, but this is what I know about it: Doug Lemov was, by his own admission, not a great teacher. So he set out to study, in a quantitative, scientific manner, what makes a great teacher. After thousands of hours of observing teachers who just seemed to know what it took to get all students to succeed and close the dreaded achievement gap, he distilled 49 techniques. Use these techniques and know your subject matter, he says, and your students can’t help but learn! Since then, his Uncommon Schools network has trained hundreds of teachers to use these techniques, and they have achieved unbelievable successes. I want to be one of those great teachers, and now I have this great tool (or 49 of them) for getting there!

Also at today’s Welcoming Event we saw performances by special needs students of a variety of former Fellows, and listened to inspiring stories from city administrators and successful Fellows. One of the latter read, with tears in his eyes, one of my favorite poems by Taylor Mali, Undivided Attention: What All Teachers Want and Few of Us Ever Get:

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