Jan explores the idea that all literacy lessons are drafts. Reflective teachers always leave their lessons thinking about what they will do differently next time; how they will revise their pedagogy. Since such reflection is central to teacher effectiveness, why do we engage in demonstrations we refer to as "model lessons"? How might language adjustments around demonstration lessons better support teacher growth?
Aria by Cathy Nichols
100 Words About "Model" Lessons:
How Aiming for Less than Perfect Can Stretch Us
by Jan Miller Burkins
Coaches, as literacy leaders, enter classrooms of others to teach students of others. Such performance lessons are considered "models" of instruction. But perpetuating the myth of the perfect lesson is risky. The language of "model lessons" contributes to this myth, implying that there is a right way to teach and the good teachers know it. While theoretically we understand there aren't perfect teachers (or coaches), we hope with all our hearts to be one. However, if we engage in "public practice" rather than "model lessons," we can instead model patience with ourselves, a willingness to take risks, and continuous self-reflection.
185 Crestwood Drive
Athens, GA 30605
United States of America