Monday, 2 April 2012

Teachers Need to Focus on Deliberate Practice

The term following March Break is the one where I begin to reflect on what I have done to increase student learning. This is the last opportunity for me to really help students show growth, and so I have to think about which students are well on their way, and which ones need something else from me to help them improve their performance.

Because this is the frame of mind that I am in, I was curious to join a webinar put on by the Marzano Learning Centre on March 30, 2012 on “Becoming a Reflective Teacher.”

Marzano is a respected leader in the field of teacher development, and his research has influenced my development over the years. One of the things he spoke about in the webinar is how teachers need to focus on deliberate practice and select three specific things to work on each year in order to improve.

In a previous posting I noted that my work with teachers at Greenwood College School is similar to my work with students in my English class in the way that focusing on specific areas for growth is more effective than trying to look at everything at once.

In this article from Educational Leadership, Marzano writes about how a teacher might find areas for growth from the behaviours that he considers essential for the classroom.

I had made it a goal to increase the ways I personalize instruction this year, and as I reflect now on which students need more, or different types of, instruction, it is with the goal of personalizing so that each can achieve a high level of performance, at or near his or her capacity.

Jennifer Walcott
Director of Teacher Development

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