Giving Directions

I’m currently reading Teach Like a Champion by Doug Lemov. He has mad credentials (that I am too lazy to list) and works as a teaching consultant. Even in the introduction he caught my interest with useful tips. Usually you don’t get useful stuff in the introduction of the book, you get obligatory thank yous, inspirational sayings, etc. So starting off, I’m already impressed.

Doug Lemov understands that teachers can be pretty thick, just like students can be (yes, finally! Someone who does not overestimate my ability!) He stresses concrete guidance.

“When you want them to follow your directions, stand still. If you’re walking around passing out papers, it looks like the directions are no more important than all of the other things you’re doing. Show that your directions matter. Stand still. They’ll respond.”

It sounds so, so simple. However, who hasn’t tried to tell students what to do while also running around like Mrs. Frizzle on RedBull?

Stand still when giving instructions

  • You will speak more clearly- taking time to enunciate, giving a steady delivery rate, making eye contact with students
  • You will nonverbally imply that your words are important- stop and take notice!
  • You will be focused on if the class understands what to do, versus being unaware of confusion, or more likely, oblivious to your word vomit.

Teach Like a Champion

Doug Lemov-


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