The 12 Touchstones of Good Teaching: A Checklist for Staying Focused Every Day

The 12 Touchstones of Good Teaching: A Checklist for Staying Focused Every Day

The 12 Touchstones of Good Teaching: A Checklist for Staying Focused Every Day

The 12 Touchstones of Good Teaching: A Checklist for Staying Focused Every Day

Synopsis

Checklists help us work better. They help us manage complex tasks more effectively and ensure we apply what we know correctly and consistently. They've become indispensable for airline pilots and doctors, but can this low-tech approach to planning and problem solving demand a place in the teacher's toolkit? Teaching is complicated, with challenging decisions and important consequences, but it's in the most complex situations that a straightforward checklist can be the most useful.

Goodwin and Hubbell present 12 daily touchstones--simple and specific things any teacher can do every day--to keep classroom practice focused on the hallmarks of effective instruction and in line with three essential imperatives for teaching:

• Be demanding: Align teaching with high expectations for learning.

• Be supportive: Provide a nurturing learning environment.

• Be intentional: Know why you're doing what you're doing.

If there were one thing you could do each day to help one student succeed, you'd do it, wouldn't you? What about three things to help three students? What if there were 12 things you could do every day to help all of your students succeed? There are, and you'll find them here.

Excerpt

“Ladies and gentleman, the plane is safe,” flight attendant Michael von Reth reassured the frightened passengers of Qantas airlines flight QF32. “Please take your seats. The captain will speak with you soon,” he added, more hopefully than factually as the phone to the cockpit had gone dead (de Crespigny, 2012, np).

Moments before, as the aircraft climbed into a clear sky above Singapore en route to Sydney on the morning of November 4, 2010, a tremendous explosion had rocked the cabin, followed by what sounded like “marbles rolling across a corrugated tin roof.” Looking out the window, it was apparent that one of the aircraft’s four jet engines had exploded with enough force to rip the right wing open like a sardine can, spraying shrapnel into the fuselage. Flumes of fuel were now streaming out of the disabled engine.

None of this was supposed to be happening, of course. Von Reth and 468 other passengers and crew members were flying in one of the newest, largest, and most advanced aircraft ever.

In the flight deck, a cacophony of alarms was sounding. Red lights flashed everywhere as Captain Richard Champion de Crespigny and three other pilots tried to maintain their composure and make sense of what was . . .

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