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Monday, September 21, 2009

Counterintuitive Discovery

Today I taught a lesson that went horribly wrong. I was being observed by my cohort leader, so I was already nervous, but some additional time constraints made me feel very rushed. As the lesson progressed and time slipped away, I started talking faster, pausing less between questions, and taking the first raised hand that presented itself. Needless to say, the kids were completely baffled.

After class, I had a couple of postmortem conversations with my mentor teacher and my cohort leader. I came to the surprising discovery that you can actually go faster by slowing down. Had I spoken slower and paused more, I would never have gotten so far ahead of my students. It's as though I was racing them to the end of the lesson. What purpose does that serve to get to where you're headed before the students do?

In the future, I am going to make a concerted effort to linger. I believe that by doing that, I will actually cover more information in less time.


Jen said...

Not to mention the added time that you'll have to use to go back and review/reteach material from the first run-through...

It's so hard, sometimes, not to rush, though. I know where I'm going with a lesson (and I know what I want students to take from the lesson), but occasionally it's easy to forget that students aren't meeting me at the end of the lesson, but rather exploring with me until they find that end themselves (with a little help from their favorite science teacher). If that makes any sense at all. Cut me some slack, it's the weekend and I've been working at PB most of the day :P

How are you? Chantal mentioned this blog at work today, so I thought I'd check it out, Hope things are going well for you :)

-Jen Paul

Anonymous said...


Ed Darrell said...

Um, no thoughts since September 2009?

A world of idiot commentary -- we could use some counterpoint, you know?

Hope you're okay.