Enough of Teacher Talk

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Based off of John Hattie’s Eight Mind Frames

If I were to tell you that I don’t want to talk about teaching anymore, how would you react? What would you say? I’m sure half of your jaws would drop and some of you may even say ‘good, me too’.

As educators we eat, sleep and breathe teaching. We talk about best practices, new technology tools and updated state mandates. Society always mocks the education system as being the “easy occupation” because we get summer vacation. We all chuckle because deep down inside we know that summer doesn’t really exist.

There is ALWAYS teacher talk. We are aware of the new state mandates, we implement the best practices in our classroom, and we strive to create 21st century learners with new technology.

I’m tired of teacher talk.

While teacher talk is definitely important and necessary at times—don’t get me wrong—it holds us back from discussing learning. That small, but oh so important word, that often gets overlooked in the educational dictionary.

Nowadays, students are becoming a statistic instead of a name. Students are hiding in the shadows of the textbook instead of reading between the lines. Students are training themselves to memorize the content instead of learning the content. Student passions for learning have shifted. Students do not know how to learn for the love of learning.

Therefore, I urge you to think about your classroom. How are your students learning in your classroom? What does learning look like to you? Do your students view learning differently? How can you encourage that itch for learning?

Instead of focusing our energy on teacher talk; we should focus on our impact of teaching on student learning. We should no longer focus on “what we do as teachers” and focus on “what the students are doing as learners” (p. 8).

With that being said, I leave you with a challenge for the week. Choose two students in your classroom at random. Reflect, mark, and monitor these students. How are they learning? How are they responding to your activities? What does their progress look like within the lesson?

After all, our students should be engaged at all times with authentic learning.

Students should be able to answer confidently about what they are learning or working on. They should be aware of what to do if they don’t know the answer or are stuck. They should realize when they have finished the task at hand and if that task is completed with good quality.

Enough with teacher talk; time for authentic learning talk.

Zegarac, G. (2013). Know Thy Impact: Teaching, Learning and Leading. In Conversation , IV (2), 18.

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