What I Notice and Wonder about Teaching Like a Champion

Last night, Chris Robinson shared an experience with an administrator who observed his math classroom. He had been doing an activity called Noticing and Wondering with his students, something that Max Ray of the Math Forum has written about extensively. Noticing and wondering is a great discussion starter. You share a mathematical object or situation with children and open up the floor to their curiosity. They can connect the mathematical thing with their own ideas, then a teacher can shape the conversation by building connections to formal math.

Here is the administrator’s feedback:

Now, I am not naive. I understand that our lack of consensus about good teaching leaves a lot of room for interpretation about what is working and what is not. The administrator was obviously perplexed by the wide berth Chris gave to his students to wonder about the math. Kids do say and think goofy things, as do all people. But sometimes our odd ideas need a good airing to connect to what we are learning.

Normally, seeing Chris’s tweet would frustrate me. What do we need to do to drive a wedge between people’s confusion about students being compliant and being engaged? What do we need to do to help educators understand that the path to deep understanding is often not a straight line, and that to connect ideas to our lives, our own thinking –– goofy or not –– needs a chance to come out?

Yesterday, however, the administrator’s problematic response did more than frustrate me. As I told Chris (and the others on the thread):

In my class Teaching as a Social Practice, we have been discussing the consequences of our lack of consensus on the nature of good teaching. We often examine what gets put out and circulated as good teaching and hold it against various research on things like  how kids learn or how teachers can teach responsively.

I showed this Doug Lemov video related to his best-selling book, Teach Like a Champion, with the intent to dissect the underlying assumptions about teaching and learning. The 100% technique is a way of managing students’ attention during instruction. Take two minutes to watch it.

What do you notice? What do you wonder?

I notice that these are all White teachers and that the students are nearly all Black.

fold hands

I wonder why the teacher (above) is signalling this boy to have his hands folded. I wonder if there is any research anywhere showing that folded hands will help with his learning.

Whisper to Jasmin

I notice that when this teacher reprimands this student for not having the answer to a question (1:11 on the video), she jumps immediately to the assumption that the girl needs to work harder. I wonder why the teacher doesn’t ask her if she has any questions about what was being asked or if everything is okay today.

Giving you a gift

I notice that this teacher says the following to his class as a motivational speech (1:44):

I can bring it to you but I can’t give it to you. You’ve got to reach for it. If they were free at Toys R Us you would reach. I’m giving you the same kind of gift, just not wrapped up. The gift of knowledge.

I wonder what is going on in this metaphor. I am wondering if I ever have seen wrapped up gifts at Toys R Us. I wonder if other overly analytical kids in this class also got lost down this rabbit hole of wondering.

I wonder if the kids would like the gift of being able to keep their hands unfolded and moving their bodies more freely more than the gift of repeating after the teacher in the name of “knowledge.”


What does all this have to do with Chris and his interaction with his administrator?

Teach Like a Champion has been a huge seller, especially in urban schools. It’s highly rated and ranked on Amazon and I have talked to numerous new teachers who report getting handed a copy by administrators. There is even a new edition Champion 2.0.

Activities like noticing and wondering open up classroom discussions and invite kids (goofy ideas and all) to think. Techniques like 100% in Teach Like a Champion limit permissible activity and thinking by students.  Contrasting the two is a productive microcosm on current debates about teaching. The issue is particularly urgent in urban classrooms, where methods like those promoted in Champion emphasize the control of Black and Brown bodies by White teachers instead of the celebration of children’s own ideas. This is especially troubling given what we know about disproportionate discipline of these children.

With this vision of teaching dominating the landscape, it becomes increasingly difficult for teachers like Chris Robinson to invite their children to think with him in the classroom without the risk of being reprimanded.


38 thoughts on “What I Notice and Wonder about Teaching Like a Champion

  1. Apparently some administrators need someone to hand them copies of _Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning_ (Brown, P.C., Roediger, H.L., and McDaniel, M. A.; Harvard U. Press, 2014). From page 101: “Trying to come up with an answer rather than having it presented to you, or trying to solve a problem before being shown the solution, leads to better learning and longer retention of the correct answer or solution, even when your attempted response is wrong, so long as corrective feedback is provided.”
    What I wonder, as the parent of three young men who (like their dad) have a hard time sitting still: how would they have fared if their middle school teachers had focused on folded hands and eyeball position instead of authentic learning? A frightening thought.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Goofy” is subjective. I imagine that what Chris Robinson’s students were saying maybe didn’t seem goofy to them at the time. On the other hand, I wonder how many students would find it goofy to compare “knowledge” (defined as book learning, discounting everything else they know) and “free toys.” Are those kids thinking, “Teacher, you’re so corny”? Is he maybe losing a quantum of credibility with them in that moment, as Chris seems to have lost some credibility with his observer?


  3. I haven’t read this book or seen this video before today. I like the notion of minimally invasive correction. I’ve seen teachers just escalate situations and lose the whole class. I’m with you on the 1:11 girl with no answer. Without knowing anything about the girl, I suspect working harder might not be the answer. If she’s perfectly capable, then it might be (or she might be bored stiff). If she’s struggling, suggesting she work harder won’t help. Suggesting a starting point or a next step would be much more useful than a reprimand for laziness.


  4. Pingback: Noticing and Wondering About the Order of Things | The Learning Kaleidoscope

  5. We all need to do a bit of policing behaviour. And that needs us as teachers to give it some attention, talk about techniques even.

    But what also needs to be felt and learnt is how to give space for children to try out ideas out loud.

    There’s a girl in my class (they’re 8 and 9 remember) who writes brilliantly and thoughtfully, but she rarely chips in in discussions. I was out doing playground duty on Monday and she ran up behind me with two friends and hit me on the back, not that hard. It seemed like an uncharacteristic thing to do; she’s usually so compliant, so unwilling to stand out.

    You decide what to do in less than an instant sometimes, don’t you. Normally I’d tell a child off for that; it seems not very respectful. But here I just asked her if it was a dare to do that. It wasn’t she said. And there I left it.

    The thing is, there’s a tension between being the authority figure and being someone who kids are comfortable with enough to take risks. I’d like this girl to feel more comfortable, so I didn’t go for the authority line. Other people would do it differently; but that’s what I did.

    What I’d like is for people, up to a point to be able to be goofy. Of course, you judge with each character and event. This week someone asked if zero was a boy or a girl. (We surveyed the class; it overwhelmingly was, like all even numbers.) Someone asked, if a cuboid is a 3D object because it has 3 dimensions, what would a 4D object look like? It’s not on the curriculum, but my answer about hypercubes got another girl making one; a boy came in telling me about how to make one out of bubbles, and another girl came in saying she’d tried to draw one at home.

    And along with goofy, I’d include, half-formed ideas. If talk is to be a tool for thinking with, which I’d like it to be, then kids need to feel ok about mistakes, about ideas that could be off-beam, that are still half-baked.

    It would be nice to have a version of TLAC, that didn’t sound like robocop with NLP training, that respected the need for the unprogrammed, that programmed it in in fact!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ilana et al: I think you have cleverly responded to Chris’ lament as well as raised important questions about Doug Lemov’s TLAC work. A few thoughts:

    I find Doug’s work a fascinating mix of good and bad. The good is clear enough: he has dissected the micro-moves of good class management and teaching of content in ways that people can learn and fluently use. The bad: there is a heavy air of compliance in almost all the “moves” – compliance that, at some point, stifles genuine learning.

    I actually had an hour-long conversation with him about this very issue because I wanted to hear him out. We had a perfectly pleasant conversation in which we talked about means and ends in teaching, the challenge facing new teachers, and the need to see many of these moves as means, not ends. And the 2nd edition has a bit more stuff in it on good instruction, e.g. checking for understanding. But it still has the same class-management feel to it.

    So, we’re back to The Pedagogy of Poverty article written 30 years ago by Habermas – https://www.det.nsw.edu.au/proflearn/docs/pdf/qt_haberman.pdf

    The Charter School network in NYC that I work for, Harlem Village, is a deliberate attempt to be the anti-Lemov in the City, in the sense of seeing its Mission in Deweyan Progressive terms (unlike Uncommon Schools and Success Academy.) But even the head of HVA acknowledges that Doug’s methods do work to make teachers (young, especially) more skilled and confident – no small matter in urban schools.

    My wish is a blend: a Lemov-Like study of the micro-moves of outstanding teacher-facilitators of high-level inquiry and conversation, with the best moves for causing learning in his book (e.g. Cold Call).

    As for the original prompt? I think “Wondering” when it is so inartfully prompted by school teachers with older students – especially male – sorta gets what he or she deserves. A lot of older kids simply refuse to play that game, for reasons that are lamentable but predictable. And merely “wondering” in off topic and superficial ways is, indeed, not a good use of time – especially if their imagination and curiosity have thus far not really been piqued by deeply thought-provoking work prior to the request.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. A thought occurs to me – Teach Like a Champion’s premise is that Doug Lemov camped out in the classrooms of exceptional teachers and took notes, finding the things they had in common, the moves they made, etc.

    But…what determined what made those teachers exceptional? Their test scores? Their ability to get their students to comply? TLAC is a good way to achieve the goal it set out for; the question just remains, “Is that the goal that I want?”


    • This is a great point. I’ve wondered the same thing.

      In my experience, people in this part of the reform world – and Lemov himself – have a tremendous bias for order and compliance. A classroom isn’t successful if it isn’t controlled. It’s a huge problem and it means searches for the best teachers become insular.

      I’m curious whether Lemov looks outside his own world – no-excuses charters and the TFA allies he has created. I know TFA spends a huge amount of time studying its own corps members and alumni but not enough studying others. My guess is Lemov has a similar problem. Both would be better served by looking outside – including venturing into other demographics (what are teachers are affluent schools doing that might be worth trying?)

      TLAC is definitely a tool for behavior management and compliance. But as you asked, is that the right set of goals?


  8. I agree with Grant–“wondering” games are a bit precious. I’d roll my eyes as a teacher, much less a high school student.

    On Lemov, I’m very much in the anti- camp. While I agree that he does push some good ideas, I don’t think any are unique to him.

    For example, since Grant singles it out: I coldcalled automatically long before I even went to ed school, just in my private instruction classes. In ed school we talked a lot about the different philosophies of calling on students. Many teachers are very opposed to random calls. Others use dice or sticks to prove that they’re really random, like they aren’t singling out students. I thought all such talk was nonsense, but many teachers really feel it’s autocratic to call on students who aren’t volunteering.

    The point: Long before Lemov, ed schools were discussing the best way to call on students. I don’t think teachers need an instruction manual. That’s true for many of his “good” ideas. Meanwhile, he’s weirding me out with all the compliance stuff.

    Lemov himself barely taught. Most of his 4 years employed by schools were spent as veep of discipline, and he only taught in a charter school for a year. I don’t know who came up with his taxonomy, but I don’t think it was him.


  9. I used TLAC as a new teacher, and it was my way of getting ideas for procedures that help organize a classroom (use files to hand back papers, keep all supplies in one place, pass papers in to the front in an organized way, stand in one spot while you give directions so body movement doesn’t distract) since my supervising teacher for student teaching was so bad / absent more than half of the time I was there. really, it just means that I needed to observe more GOOD teachers, and learn those routines from them.

    It was also when trying one of those strategies that I first realized I was using my racial privilege as a white woman to control a classroom of mostly students of color, and it was because a white student rebelled against the “strategy.” He had never been required to be that compliant in a classroom in his life, because he previously went to majority white schools.

    That happened my first year teaching, and in a way TLAC is what put me on the path to working in Critical Race Theory and other anti-racist perspectives to “mainstream” education discourse. The more I can bring up looking at things from a CRT perspective when thinking about micro issues like seating arrangements, or classroom routines…or macro things like technology integration plans, or uniforms…for me, that’s a way to be concrete about theory. what would Derrick Bell or Gloria Ladson-Billings or Delores Delgado Bernal think about that policy? does it serve all students? who IS served by that decision? that’s what I try to think of when I design syllabi, cite scholars in my writing, or even respond to students in the hallway where I work.


    • How on earth were you using racial privilege. Doug Lemov – who is not white – uses these techniques and if you look at African and Asian countries – they expect good behaviour also. If you are looking for a way out of managing behaviour so you can be some sort of hippy teacher then I suppose you have got it. Ludicrous – was I using my Asian privilege when working with white children and getting them to behave?


  10. I’m sorry to hear that so many thought leaders still don’t really get the power and richness and depth of the Math Forum’s “noticing and wondering” practices. In working to create an inclusive yet “no-opt-out” classroom culture, I find that these practices create a safe space in which everyone feels committed to participate and explore as a community. Often the most superficially confident students will make noticing or wondering statements that have the syntax of “the right answer” yet are imprecise or inattentive. And often the most reserved or reticent student who has trouble putting a thought into words will make an insightful and truly resonant observation. The fact is, you can’t have it both ways. If you want your classroom to be discovery-driven space, then you have to allow for the likelihood that kids will be kids and some will say silly or crazy stuff (BTW, I found this to be the case over 25 years in Silicon Valley too). However, if you allow only selective risk-taking within a narrow and predefined field that meets specific (and potentially racist) behavioral objectives — with judgment and shaming as consequences for failure — then you are privileging compliance over curiosity and I believe you are denying underprivileged students the right to own their own minds and their own thoughts.

    I do not show up every day in my classroom merely to police the behavior of my students. I show up to inspire and encourage EVERY student to be curious and resilient and open to learning.

    If that is not the very essence of noticing and wondering, then we are not occupying the same epistemological universe.

    – Elizabeth (@cheesemonkeysf)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elizabeth: I think you are over-reacting to what is being said. Of course we want to establish a culture where wonder is a key element. I have written extensively about the culture of inquiry in the Essential Questions book, in UbD, and in numerous pieces on socratic seminar. My point was more about empathy for kids (especially males) who just aren’t there yet. They are either too cool/cynical/disengaged in HS to be there. Nor was I suggesting giving up; I was merely suggesting realism in the face of the reactions actually obtained. Many HS kids – and adults!! – resist inquiry, discussion, reasoned argument, simulations, role-plays for all the same reasons. I’m just reminding educators not to be naive and overly-romantic about such moves. It takes a huge shift of culture in a high school, or start-up filled with snarky 20-somethings, or staff meeting to get to place where such an activity can work.


      • Grant- I’m glad to hear this clarification, since what you said above seemed so at odds with what I use every day from your books. However, I stand by Chris’ use of the noticing-and-wondering structure, even with students who aren’t there yet. Often, they are not “there yet” because they have had so little experience of those in authority holding open the space for them to authentically notice and wonder, and be goofy or plain wrong. Very often, I find that students will use noticing-and-wondering as a testing ground — a place in which to test whether or not I am truly open to their showing up exactly as they are or if I am only looking for the usual adult “realism.” Like Chris, I have witnessed many moving, even breathtaking student sharings and insights using an open noticing and wondering segment. Sometimes students have sought me out privately (even years later) to say that that was one of the first (or sadly, only) times when a math teacher seemed genuinely open to who they really are and how they really experience their world mathematically.

        It takes compassion, presence, and time to help students loosen their layers of accumulated cynicism and disengagement. I see nothing naive or overly romantic about supporting students in actively “showing up” as themselves in their own educations. Being present with an open heart is the toughest kind of teaching — and love — I know.

        – Elizabeth (@cheesemonkeysf)


      • I especially agree with your lead sentence of the last paragraph. That what we must do irrespective of student response, in fact. We have to model the behavior we wish to cause. And, indeed, there is the need for it most of all in math, as the last sentence of the first paragraph. We really are on the same page!


  11. I frequently use the “Notice and Wonder” technique in my high school geometry classroom. In a recent survey completed by my students they said that my classroom had a relaxed atmosphere where they could help each other learn. All answers are valued in my classroom. When a student shares a misconception, I often turn it back to the class and ask what they think about the student’s idea. In the end I thank the student for sharing their idea, because it all helped us to get a better understanding of the concept. Consider this. Children notice and wonder from the time of infancy. They explore and try things out, often without fear. For me, that is the biggest benefit of “Notice and Wonder” in math. It is an equalizer – all students can notice and wonder.


    • Leigh – Well said. I love and completely agree with what you say about the relaxed atmosphere noticing and wondering creates. Without it, students *hide* their misconceptions instead of allowing them to come into the light to be explored — and the active exploration of current and potential misconceptions is one of the most potent aspects of a collaborative classroom! Thank you for articulating this so beautifully.

      – Elizabeth (@cheesemonkeysf)


  12. Ilana,

    This is a wonderful article. I mentioned on Twitter that I hope it and Ray Salazar’s piece are the first of many popular critiques of Teach Like a Champion. I think Grant’s comment is also very noteworthy.

    Three comments to attempt to build off of what you have written:

    (1) I currently teach at an elite international school. One of the reasons I temporarily left the U.S. was I felt the conversation in low-income schools – especially with the ed reform and TFA crowd – was becoming too insular. Good, progressive pedagogy was not a focus and TLAC was essentially the only pedagogical source many people were relying on. I wanted to see what excellent, progressive pedagogy looked like in action and eventually bring those learnings back to low income schools in the US.

    I’ve shared TLAC with some faculty here. They all agree that not only is it useless for anything other than a couple tips and tricks, but that if a teacher at our school tried to implement a Lemov-style approach, they would be fired. Kids are not meant to be controlled and school shouldn’t consist of military style procedures.

    If that style of classroom management is considered paternalistic, dictatorial and wrong for the privileged, it should be considered that way for all students.

    (2) It’s worth noting that the TLAC team is almost all white. I think this is something that really should be changed if the team hopes to do best by all students.

    (3) If you follow Doug Lemov on TLAC on Facebook/Twitter/Their blogs, you will see a lot of reference to “correct” or “right” answers. That’s because most of the pedagogy discussed is fairly rote. This is troubling for a number of reasons. Most relevant to this post, however, is the idea of a white teacher insisting to students of color that there is one correct interpretation of a piece of literature or one correct historical analysis. Not only does it demand intellectual compliance and suspend critical thinking, but it can lead to answers that are racially troubling. Think reconstruction; the causes of the Civil War; and the civil rights movement.

    If we teach history as a series of right answers, we ignore the fact that history has been manipulated by the dominant culture for generations. Any curricula that insists on a series “right answers” for topics such as history, literature, and art is manipulative at best and systemically racist at worst.

    Thanks again for writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Teach Like a Champion is being recommended to teachers who are deemed “ineffective” according to our state’s faulty evaluation system. Thanks for this post and critique. I love that you go right to the practices and consider their impact on children.

    One point that struck me about the “gift of knowledge” the teacher described above thinks he is giving: It seems that the “gift” he’s offering students is his knowledge. It is frozen. He wants his students to reach for what he knows. I propose that it should be the other way around — the teacher’s work is to reach for what the children know and to build on students’ knowledge with them, knowing that knowledge — and understanding of what is being learned — will be collective and personal.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Bringing race into this conversation distracts us from the important issues. Discerning compliance from engagement is important in all schools. The video images of a class all sitting quitely doing little to nothing is predominant in subarban classes full of white students as well.

    What Teach Like A Champion best offers is its opening chapter: No Opt-Outs. This is the idea that ALL students will participate in the lesson and do the work. The typical middle and high school math class has a majority of compliant, unengaged students. I agree, just because you have your folded, doesn’t mean that you are meanifully engaged in mathematics. However, just because you ask kids to notice and wonder, doesn’t mean everyone is doing that either.

    While I agree with many of the criticisms aimed at the videos. I think that those teachers are successful with those techniques, though, because they are teaching students who came to them from public schools that allowed students to do nothing. Engagement is better than complaince; compliance is still better than chaos.

    I successfully teach a class of At-Risk students. Yes, the phrase At-Risk in my suburban neighborhood means they are mostly brown with Hispanic surnames. I have them do a lot of noticing and wondering, with no-opt outs. We also do a great deal of necessary behavior modification. I train them on how to have productive group discussions, and also how to sit quietly and complete individual work as well. But before anyone calls me out for being a white guy controlling the bodily movements of minority students, let me say that I use these no-option techniques with my “white classes” as well, and I encourage the Hispanic teachers in my department to do the same.

    My At-Risk students have said that I “don’t let them fail,” and that I’m “the only teacher that cares about them.” They say that about the teacher who holds the highest expecations of them, and happens to be of a different color. Demanding students’ best efforts is not bigotry; it is the most loving thing we can do for them.


  15. Chris,

    That is great feedback that your students are giving you. To me, it suggests that you have found ways to really care for and respect your students in ways that, in my view, go beyond Lemov’s techniques. Would you, for instance, insist that students always sit still, hands folded? Would you always respond to a student not knowing an answer by suggesting that she try harder? There is a place for some behavior management in classrooms. The issue for me is the narrow sense of acceptable behavior conveyed in this and other TLAC videos, coupled with truly alarming data on the disproportionate discipline of Black and Brown children. To me, it is unethical to disconnect these by turning a color-blind eye on these materials.


    • Agreed. More so, “those kids” get thrown into “those classes” which are given to “that teacher” because “those parents” do not call the school and complain.


  16. As a pre-service teacher (trolling popular math ed blogs), I initially thought it was great that there are classroom-management strategies that claim to engage all students in the classroom. After all, what pre-service teacher wouldn’t like to learn the secrets of classroom management?!! Your commentary about what you noticed shocked me a bit because I realized I didn’t even notice the racial implications and the type of compliance expected by the teachers shown in the video.

    After watching the video a second time, a few other things started to bother me. I noticed that what could be perceived as engagement in those classrooms isn’t quite what we would like to see happening in math classrooms these days. Students are quietly working at their desks and are attentive to the teacher, but there is no active discourse, sharing ideas, reasoning with one another, or enthusiasm. To me, putting a priority on always getting an answer right away indicates that the problem might be too easy and that spending time to struggle through the process of doing math is not something valued; thus, perseverance is undermined in favor of pushing for an answer. Another thing I noticed is that the teacher occupies a very dominant role compared to the students, which is not at all in accordance with what I’m learning about teachers being facilitators. Granted, these video clips are short and viewers are not privy to the classroom contexts of each case shown, but I would certainly not consider the teachers seen in the videos to be exemplary educators in a math classroom, given the direction and trends of math education nowadays.


    • this is a very thoughtful set of observations. as a math educator, i too recognize the ways that much of TLAC goes directly against what we know to constitute vibrant and mathematically rich classrooms. thanks for your comment!


  17. Teach like a colonizer. KIPP/Kopp/Lemom. These people are the fucking worst. If you really want to understand what is going on read Jean Anyon’s paper “Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work.”


  18. I’m wondering why silent, seated, kids who only listen and gesture on command are presented as “engaged.” I’m also wondering why the apparent expectation that they speak only to provide the ‘right’ answer is considered teaching at all.

    I’m wondering what is going on in each of those young minds. I want to know their interpretation of all of this.

    I notice the unnatural stillness of those young bodies—the folded hands like shackles keeping the bodies in their places—I notice (or did I imagine) restraint and repression of their need for movement and speech and I wonder when their thoughts are considered, honored, and given the chance to be expressed. Science has shown us that moving bodies think better; I’m not suggesting the kids should be jumping around as the teacher teaches, but the hyper control over how they hold their bodies is unnerving and counterproductive.

    Meaning making happens, as Louise Rosenblatt showed us with reading, as an interaction between the reader and the text, or in this case between the learner and the lesson. One cannot simply take information in and call that learning; we need to process that information with our own existing knowledge and experience for it to make sense to us—for us to get ‘the gift of knowledge’; I notice that in these clips the children are expected to take in take in take in but never have a chance to process in their own ways or time frames.

    Questioning is the most natural form of thinking about, processing new information—when do they have a chance to question? That said, perhaps the questioning and discussion comes later in these classrooms, after the lesson has ended… one can only hope.


  19. This is a fascinating discussion. Something that I wonder: Is TLAC so uncomfortable because it makes some of the unwritten norms/expectations of an educational setting so visible? These, of course, are norms that many white, privileged children have already internalized — and this is something that contributes to success in schools. I am not advocating for TLAC necessarily, but I think we should be cautious about assuming that kids who aren’t subjected to Lemov are somehow more free because they aren’t (or don’t need to be ) explicitly told that they need to pay attention (or at least pretend like they’re paying attention) at all times.


  20. Oh, my god, there is SO much So wrong about that scenario! It is SO OBVIOUSLY SO WRONG, on all counts, that I’m surprised at the timidness in criticizing it. And, hearing that that approach to teaching, and that book are being accepted and even promoted…..????? What is the matter with us??


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  22. I found this website solely looking for a reason to leave the school I work at and I’m glad to know that I am not the only one who has felt disturbed by some of the practices promoted by TLAC. As a first year teacher, I was very scared to question the methods used in my school but my gut always told me something was wrong. I watched students get kicked out of class for minute reasons and spend hours in the dean’s office completing a self-reflection packet (I really wonder how many of those are genuine answers), instead of spending time in the classroom, where they should be. Students go as far as to deliberately get themselves in trouble to avoid staying in class. I, myself, have been told that I was “too nice too quickly” because I was relying on traditional methods of trust building and guidance instead of dishing out consequences. The school I work at is very data driven so of course, this TLAC B.S. is right up their alley. As for me, the stress of maintaining 100% is diminishing my motivation and passion as a teacher. I can honestly say, by no means do I ever feel like a champion.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Oh my God, this emphasis on compliance chills me and makes me sick. The white teachers with the firm hand signals… there is so much Authority and Submission going on here. This is emphatically not what I want to teach.

    I understand needing a quietish room for people to think in. And I understand that students who are off-task are probably not benefiting from that class time. But this looks so wrong. I want to teach my students the opposite of obedience, and that is more important to me than any mathematical content.

    Liked by 1 person

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