Posted by: M. Walgenbach | August 17, 2011

Be a Better Teacher?

1.  80% of my lessons focus on the most important concepts for each class.
Identify the most important concepts for English 9, English 10, Am. Lit./Cont. Comp., and Expos. Comp.

2.  Craft quizzes, in-class activities, and lecture materials towards one concept: the
day’s deliverable.

3.  20% of my lesson focus on the most important ideas from the previous class.  This would be 4% of the 64% that was most vital from the previous class.

Identify the 20% of my teaching methods that produce 80% of the results.

Identify that 20% by doing 2 things: get to the point and keep my ears open.

Focus on the 20% of the students in whom I can make the most improvement.

I have activities that will identify eager students early on, so I can decide how
best to instruct them.

Count on students to remember only 20% of what I say.

Create two minute videos that sum up the most important lesson for the day.

Create activities that help students identify the 20% of their study techniques that help them get 80% of their work done.

This should be one of the purposes of their education: good teachers can model this skill.  I
have to be on my game.  If I am, I can say, “Do as I say AND do as I do.”

Reviewing the previous class work daily is a very good step. This sets the pattern for the day. Students will have forgotten.

Preview the next day at the end of the class. Spend at least two minutes. Say this: “If what we have covered is true, then this raises some basic questions.” Give two or three. Then say, “We will cover this tomorrow.” This will get them thinking a little. They will see the continuity.

Try to present the 20% core that Wiki skips over or fails to emphasize. Let them know that the basics are on Wiki. Tell them you are providing hooks of comprehension and memory. Get them to commit to mastering these hooks.
You want the 20% course hooks to be like pegs on a hat rack. Students get the basic story in terms of pegs. These are the hooks they use to remember. Also, they may take them into the real world. When they hear of the topic, the hooks help them sort out good from bad information.

The hooks in economics: (1) owners are responsible, (2) owners act as economic agents of others, (3) the economy is a giant auction: high bid wins, (4) profit and loss, (5) better sooner than later.

Keep going back to the fundamental hooks: 20% of 20% of 20%.

Students will not remember 20% a month after the course ends. They will remember 4% at graduation. Maybe. Work at it. It will be less in 20 years.

You want them to know enough to (1) advance to the next course, (2) recognize errors 20 years from now.
They will need hooks.

Aim at the top 20% of students. The others don’t care.

Teach them time management: “Concentrate 80% of your time on the 20% of the course that offers 80% of the value.” Teach them how to identify this crucial 20%.

Rule: “Lead with the benefits. Follow with the proof.” The proof is the 80%. The benefits are 20%. Students won’t remember the proof. The proof only tells them that the 20% are true. This is what is worth mastering.

Take them through the proofs in order to persuade them that the benefits are real.

In history, chronology is proof. Mastering the turning-point events is the benefit. Schools of opinion focus on different events, for the stories must key on the turning points.

The 2-minute videos will force you to identify the hooks. This is a good idea. It will help them prepare for class and review for exams.

Create a YouTube channel. Have each course as a playlist.

Create a separate blog for each course. Embed the videos on blog pages. Future students can get ahead in the course.

If you want to monetize these sites, sell special reports on how to prosper after graduation. Write them yourself, or work out affiliate deals. Don’t sell anything that would be perceived as allowing your enrolled students to get better grades by paying you before they take exams.


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