The greatest revelations about teaching and learning often only emerge when we are willing to turn almost everything completely on its head. Image credits: random letters
New term. New season. New teaching year.
Time to try to do a few things a little differently, don't you think?
For an average day of teaching, here's how it usually works...
You come in a little early and you plan your lessons for the day. You may have even planned them the day before, or the week before, or even before you started the new term.
(Sorry, a quick pause here to chuckle about a teacher I knew who would come in at the start of each new term and loudly announce he'd planned the entire 12-week term in advance, right down to the smallest detail. His daily prep time would be dedicated to watching sports channels on the Internet. He was extremely thorough in his planning - I'll grant him that - but I felt sorry for him. Felt sorry for his learners as well!)
Having done your planning, you then go ahead and forge through your teaching day.
At the end of it, you go home and try not to think about teaching at all until the next day.
And so the cycle goes...
Well, this works for a lot of people. But it prevents them from seeing other things that might work as well. Stuff that might even be more interesting and more effective...
So, if the process and cycle I just described above applies to you, I would like to lay a challenge at your feet. The chance to try things differently.
And the challenge is:
Do that whole process completely in reverse.
Just try it for a day. See what happens.
I mean, instead of coming in to work, planning your lessons, and then teaching those lessons... come in to work (without planning), teach your lessons, and then plan those lessons (that have already happened).
That's right: I'm asking you to go into every class for a day with absolutely nothing planned, teach those classes, and then at the end of the day write up your lesson plans for those classes (after the fact, so to speak).
Yes, I know it sounds more than a little barmy...
But here's the thing... By turning your planning and teaching process upside down, you may just succeed in taking your teaching/learning process into more of an inside out style (as opposed to outside in).
Oh, I can assure you it's a wee bit frightening at first, but it's also full of all sorts of interesting surprises.
Give the upside down inside out challenge a whirl, and let us know how it all pans out for you and your learners!