It is not every day that I find myself bursting to share a moment of my day with someone else, but today is one of those days – actually, the first!
In my new role as Principal of a K-12 International School in South Korea, a large part of my role involves joining in with teachers in their rooms throughout the day. It is the best part of my job! And today, after having the opportunity to join in with two teachers at my school, the moment arrived, and it answered the questions, “What does good teaching look like?”
If I can walk into a classroom and within two minutes begin to help the teacher teach, then there is some good stuff going on in the classroom! So what does this pre-suppose?
In order for me to begin co-teaching, I need to understand the objectives of the lesson. If they are displayed (as they should be) for students, then I can read them in the first two minutes. If the questions or prompts that are being used are visible somewhere (whiteboard, handout, projected, etc) then I can read them (along with the EAL learners who need the added written support) in the first two minutes. If the prompts or questions lead the students to discussion, inquiry, small group work, individual pondering, etc (which means the students are actively engaged) then I can begin to wander, listen, interject, redirect, etc.
Now, I don’t think this is a new idea for the world of education at large, but it was a very new realisation for me. Today. And I know it is going to help me frame some conversations that I cannot wait to have as I challenge teachers to begin teaching in ways that will stretch them.