Instruction begins when you, the teacher, learn from the learner; put yourself in his place so that you may understand . . . what he learns and the way he understands it. Soren Kierkegaard
What is good instruction? It is more than just walking into your classroom and looking through your TE (teacher's edition) and following along. We are supposed to be imparting knowledge right? What is your goal for instruction? Who is your target audience? What do you want them to learn? And how are you going to deliver it to them? The answer to these questions will lead to good instruction. As educators, we should still be willing to learn and grow, so it is important to learn the answers to these questions. It is crucial!
Our state and every other state, with the exception of Oklahoma; who has withdrawn from working with Common Core to develop their own, has state standards. This is the (what) you want your students to learn. The standards are your road map to good instruction. Every school district takes their state standards and makes a curriculum for their teacher to follow.
CCSS Adoption Map
Planning is key. The curriculum is where you start. You will need to know where your students are academically to plan lessons to meet the needs of your target audience. Here is the (who). In your planning, you will need to take into account the fact that your students don't all learn the same and are not all on the same level academically. Differentiation and learning styles should also be dealt with and don't forget any language differences. Teaching to address all of these should be done Whole Group (if most of your students need it) and/or Small Group (if only a few need it). (Insert the urban dictionary's 6 P's) Proper Planning/Preparations Prevents Pretty Poor Performance.
It is a good idea to research some best practices in the content to teach to stay on top of what you goal is. The ultimate goal should be to see your students succeed. Good instruction is the difference between where they are when you get them and where they need to be to be ready for the next level. It is your job as an educator to ensure they get there. This is my charge as an instructional specialist. Helping to grow the teachers that are helping to grow their students.
In the book “Classroom Instruction That Works” by Ceri B. Dean, Elizabeth Ross Hubbell, Howard Pitler and Bj Stone the authors list these nine goals for teachers to include in their preparation.
Pearl Garden, Ed.D has completed her dissertation research involving understanding the vocabulary instruction practices of early grade teachers. She has a passion for the new and novice educator, and it is her goal to help educators tackle the achievement gap with her research findings. She will use this blog to share what she has learned in “pearls of literacy”. The ideas come from her dissertation titled “A Content Analysis of the Vocabulary Instruction Habits by Early Grade Teachers”.