I really hate disappointing people. In fact, I’ll usually go to great lengths to avoid doing so, but there’s one occasion I just can’t escape. It’s when someone – a teacher, parent, policy maker – comes up quietly and gently and asks me about teaching. “What’s your secret?" And they're disappointed. Every time. The secret is that there isn’t a secret to good teaching. The secret is that I’m not a great teacher every single day, that sometimes I’ll toil for a whole year and see very little growth with a student. But if there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that I’m deliberate, I’m tenacious, and I look at every student with infinite hope. The secret is that I’m never satisfied, that I’m always trying to get better, that I’m always looking for new tools to help me question, try, get feedback, try again.
Some of my favorite tools are right here at Teaching Channel. This week we’re launching a new series called “Tch
Insider Secrets,” which introduces features on our site that can help you with your own process of getting better. Start by checking out Notes
, a tool that lets you timestamp your comments while you watch our videos so that you can both save your own thoughts and then share them with colleagues. Just like teaching students to annotate, “marking” your viewing will help you dive deeper and get clearer.
Once you start annotating, I suspect you’ll find yourself asking more questions, the kind that push you towards analysis and insight. This week’s videos will help your learning parallel that of your students’ as you consider using these strategies to enhance their questioning skills.