Planning & Focus

As an educator, having a central or core focus is crucial. Most classes today encourage “coverage” which leads to a routine of listening to someone talk, reading about it, and being tested. This, though so commonly utilized, does not encourage skill development by students. By using a new practice, referred to as “uncoverage,” the teaching revolves more around asking questions and engagement. This, in turn, leads to better content retainment. The heart of the matter is through visual, critical, and moral inquiry which outlines how a teacher will approach the class with the intended lesson. There must be a decision made by the teacher to focus the direction of the class and fully explain what it means to do history.

The ultimate purpose of this profession is to teach children. The challenge, on the other hand, is to convey a passion and love for the subject that also ignites the students. This can be done most easily if the information is laid out in a well-planned way through lesson plans and unit maps. There are steps to this which does not seem simple but with practice it is very doable. First, decide reason for the lesson and introduce the main idea, then see what the students already know and ask questions that encourage brainstorming. From here, you can provide new information and clarify your goals. Allow for the students to practice independently and the summarize what was learned through closure. It is key to make sure that throughout this process, you as the teacher, have enough information to fill up the time slot. Be precise but willing to flow with the class! You do have the control so use it!

An excellent way to determine the effectiveness of a lesson is the use of “exit tickets.” With these, you can allow the students to summarize what they learned and see if you, as the teacher, achieved conveying the message. This is the goal: students learn with you as the guide!