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October 31 - November 2, 2014
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2014 ASCD Conference on Educational Leadership

2014 ASCD Conference on Educational Leadership

October 31–November 2, 2014, Orlando, Fla.

Learn the secrets to great leadership practices, and get immediate and practical solutions that address your needs.

 

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Never Work Harder Than Your Students & Other Principles of Great Teaching

by Robyn R. Jackson

Table of Contents

An ASCD Study Guide for Never Work Harder Than Your Students and Other Principles of Great Teaching

This ASCD Study Guide is meant to enhance your understanding of Never Work Harder Than Your Students and Other Principles of Great Teaching, an ASCD book written by Robyn R. Jackson and published in January 2009. The questions that follow are designed to help you make connections between the text and your personal and professional situations and experiences.

You can use the study guide after you have read the book or as you finish each chapter. The questions provided are not meant to cover all aspects of the book but rather to address specific ideas that might warrant further reflection. Most of the questions are ones you can think about on your own, but you might consider pairing with a colleague or forming a study group with others who have read or are reading Never Work Harder Than Your Students.

Introduction

  1. What is something about teaching that you did not learn in school but learned on the job?
  2. The introduction makes the following statement: Any teacher can become a master teacher with the right kind of practice. Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not?
  3. What do you believe is a "master teacher?" How do teachers become master teachers?
  4. What is the difference between a master teacher and a typical teacher?
  5. Which of the seven principles resonates with you most? Why?
  6. Take the mastery assessment. What were your results? Were you surprised at your results? What steps will you take to move from one level to the next?

Chapter 1

  1. Why is learning demographic information about your students not enough to help you really get to know them and learn how to reach them?
  2. What other information do you also need and how do you go about getting it?
  3. How can you determine what currencies your students have already?
  4. What tacit knowledge or soft skills do students need in order to be successful in your classroom?
  5. What currencies are you currently accepting in your classroom? What currencies are you spending and what currencies are students spending? Is there a disconnect?
  6. What, in your estimation, constitutes a "good" student?
  7. Which of the eight noncognitive indicators of academic success is most important to you? Why?
  8. Which of the eight noncognitives do your students seem to be missing? How can you help them acquire these characteristics and skills?
  9. What are the various "codes" your students already use? How can you help them learn to "code switch"?
  10. How can you tell whether a lacks the required currency or has the currency but refuses to spend it?
  11. What strategies can you use to convince students to spend their currencies in your classroom?
  12. How can you begin to apply the principle if you are a novice, apprentice, practitioner, or master teacher?

Chapter 2

  1. What is the difference between a content goal and a process goal? Why is it important to know the difference?
  2. What are three ways to make your learning goals more concrete and why is doing so important?
  3. Why should you set your standards in terms of minimum versus maximum performance?
  4. What does your assessment task and criteria for success say about your objectives?
  5. What happens when students face a series of activities with no clear learning goal?
  6. What three things communicate your real learning goals more than your stated objective?
  7. How can you communicate your learning goals more effectively?
  8. How can you begin to apply the principle if you are a novice, apprentice, practitioner, or master teacher?

Chapter 3

  1. What is the difference between high expectations and high standards?
  2. According to the expectations equation, how do you raise your expectations? Which side of the expectations equation is most difficult for you to adjust—values or beliefs?
  3. How do your expectations of your own teaching skill manifest in the way that you teach?
  4. Why is optimism dangerous?
  5. What is the Stockdale Paradox and how does it lead to higher expectations?
  6. What is the connection between your values and your ability to maintain unwavering faith?
  7. What is the connection between your beliefs and your ability to confront the brutal facts of your reality?
  8. What can you do to balance both sides of the expectations equation in your own teaching situation?
  9. How can you begin to apply the principle if you are a novice, apprentice, practitioner, or master teacher?

Chapter 4

  1. What is the "curse of knowledge" and how does it play out in the typical classroom?
  2. In what way do we plan for students to fail and how can we plan for their success instead?
  3. What are the four essential elements of a proactive intervention plan and which do you believe is the most critical to the success of a plan?
  4. Why is getting the right answer sometimes not an indication of a student's understanding?
  5. Why is demystifying the academic process so important and what is the key to making the process as explicit as possible?
  6. What is the key to gradually removing support?
  7. What important error should we avoid in helping students to grapple with challenging materials?
  8. How are the supports we should put in place for advanced students similar to the supports we have in place for struggling students?
  9. What is your current process for supporting struggling students and how do you need to adjust it to be more proactive?
  10. How can you begin to apply the principle if you are a novice, apprentice, practitioner, or master teacher?

Chapter 5

  1. Why is effective feedback one of the most powerful ways to improve student achievement?
  2. What is the difference between a learning-oriented student and a performance-oriented student?
  3. What are two examples of "red flags" for your class and what strategies can you use to get students quickly back on track?
  4. What feedback about student performance already exists in your course and how can you help students collect and analyze this information? How might students use this information to improve their own performance?
  5. Of the feedback students currently receive in your classroom, which is least useful in helping them improve their performance? How can you improve the usefulness of this feedback?
  6. How can you train students with performance goals to adopt learning goals? What role does feedback play in this process?
  7. Take the following statements and transform them into growth-oriented feedback:
    You got a D- on your last test. You'll have to do better next time if you expect to pass this course.
    You got a C-. You will need to try harder.
    You got a B. See how easy that was?
    Congratulations, you got an A! I told you that you would do better if you just tried.
  8. What are some common mistakes in your subject or grade level? How can you show students how to learn from these mistakes and use what they learn to get better?
  9. Under what conditions should students be allowed to retake an assessment? Are there any situations where a retake is inappropriate?
  10. How can you begin to apply the principle if you are a novice, apprentice, practitioner, or master teacher?

Chapter 6

  1. What is the purpose of homework?
  2. How can you help students master all of the standards for a particular unit without slipping into "coverage mode?"
  3. Why shouldn't you try to backfill all the skills students are missing in a particular subject?
  4. How can you determine the "need-to-knows" of a unit?
  5. How can you determine when students need opportunities for distributed practice rather than full-length performance?
  6. How can you begin to apply the principle if you are a novice, apprentice, practitioner, or master teacher?

Chapter 7

  1. Look at Figure 7.1. What are three things that you are currently doing that represent student's work rather than teacher's work?
  2. What are two ways you can give the work of learning back to the students?
  3. What do students need in order to take on the work of learning and managing their own behavior?
  4. What are two ways you can hold students accountable for doing their own work?
  5. What is the difference between logical consequences and punishment?
  6. What are three logical consequences you can implement in your classroom to hold students accountable for doing their work?
  7. How can you begin to apply the principle if you are a novice, apprentice, practitioner, or master teacher?

Chapter 8

  1. Based on your self-assessment results, at what level are you currently and what are two things you need to do to move to the next level?
  2. Why is slow, incremental change more effective than quickly moving through the master teacher trajectory?
  3. What is the difference between an accountability partner and a mentor?
  4. How can you adapt a principle to fit with who you are as a teacher?
  5. What is the most compelling reason for putting the work in to becoming a master teacher?
  6. How can you begin to apply the principle if you are a novice, apprentice, practitioner, or master teacher?

Never Work Harder Than Your Students and Other Principles of Great Teaching was written by Robyn R. Jackson. This 250-page, 6" x 9" book (Stock #109001; ISBN-13: 978-1-4166-0757-1) is available from ASCD for $20.95 (ASCD member) or $26.95 (nonmember). Copyright © 2009 by Robyn R. Jackson. To order a copy, call ASCD at 1-800-933-2723 (in Virginia 1-703-578-9600) and press 2 for the Service Center. Or buy the book from ASCD's Online Store.




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