While I was in the early stages of applying for graduate school, a friend gave me a copy of a book called Teach Like a Champion: 49 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College, by Doug Lemov, the head of a successful charter school network in the northeast called Uncommon Schools. In it, he outlines specific behaviors and techniques used by successful teachers. For example, the first technique, called No Opt Out, states, “A sequence that begins with a student unable to answer a question should end with the student answering that question as often as possible.” In practice, it might look like this:
Teacher: Jebediah, what is 2+2?
Jebediah: I don’t know.
Teacher: Ezekiel, what is 2+2?
Ezekiel: 2+2 is 4.
Teacher: Very good. Now Jebediah, what is 2+2?
Jebediah: 2+2 is 4.
Teacher: Nicely done, Jebediah. Gold star for you!
The idea of No…
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