Sunday, April 18, 2010

TEACH - Casting a Vision for Excellence in Classrooms

The book of Proverbs says, "Where there is no vision, the people perish." The same holds true for schools: Where there is no vision, teachers teach aimlessly and students perish academically.

If you are an administrator looking for a simple vision to cast regarding what should be happening daily in your classrooms, I give you TEACH. This is a simple, easy to remember mnemonic device that enables administrators to be consistent in giving teachers expectations for their classrooms and enables teachers to focus on a few important things daily.

T-Technology Integration - Teachers should use technology as often as possible to support both teaching and learning in the classroom.

E-Engaged Learners - Students should be focused, attentive but dynamic participants in the lesson, rather than sedentary recipients of information.

A-Active Teaching - Teachers should teach bell to bell, engage students, require active participation from students, dialogue with rather than present to students.

C-Consistency - Teachers should be even-keeled, not prone to mood swings, "predictable and supportive," and "fair, firm and consistent" in all aspects of teaching and managing the classroom.

H-High Expectations - Teachers should establish high expectations for student behavior, student effort and student performance, and should be consistent in holding students accountable based on those high expectations.

How do you get results? By presenting TEACH in the first faculty meeting of the year and then emphasizing TEACH throughout the year, you can get all your faculty on the same page. Post TEACH in each classroom for all to see. Finally, at each faculty meeting, department chair meeting, or grade level meeting, place TEACH below your school's mission statement on a cover sheet that covers the meeting's agenda. You can expect to see from your faculty only what you emphasize. As an administrator, your job is to help teachers become better. Cast a vision. Teach them TEACH.


Re N Vision said...

I don't see any vision here - this is expectations. This is what an evaluator need to see when they walk into a classroom.
I agree we need vision to keep education alive - but this isn't it. Vision is what kind of learners and learning are we aspiring to for the future, a future that is dramatically different from the past 10 years or it better be.As we speak charter schools and virtual schools are beating public education badly, can we get a vision to save us from the iron grip of accountability and meaningless testing? Vision killers for sure.

betzabe said...

I believe this is a great way to get your faculty and staff engaged in the teaching year. There is one vision; which is engaged learners, to me that is one of the most important things you must do to teach. If you students aren't engaged in learning, there will not be academic achievement in your classroom. I also believe that high expectations is a good part of the vision, many times we forget to make students accountable for their actions. In this world, we are all accountable for what we do, or don't do. If we set high expectations, and make them clear, and part of our vision it is morelikely that teachers can engaged this behavior in their classroom. What you expect is what you obtain, if you have no expectations; you have no vision. I don't however, see technology integration, active teaching, and consistency as part of my vision, as see it more as steps to accomplish my vision, I need to create active teaching through the integration of technology in the school and be consistent with my behavior in order to obtain engaged learners and high expectations of my students, faculty, and staff.

Nathan Barber said...

I appreciate the time each of you took to comment on this post. I have given each comment significant thought. While I see each point about TEACH being a set of expectations, I maintain that TEACH can be a vision. It is a vision for what should, in my opinion, happen in a classroom. Show me a school where TEACH is happening in all the classrooms and I'll show you a division head or head of school who is called visionary.

It is important to note that TEACH is a vision for the classroom, not for schools nor school systems, not to fix the educational system, not end testing, etc.

If you still disagree, I hope we can agree to disagree and continue to work together toward better educating our children.