Lien On Me: Teaching Stamina – Working Smarter Not Harder

September 17, 2019

 By Teresa Lien 

Schools across the country are in session and teachers have already accumulated hundreds of hours designing lessons.  It’s not uncommon that many of those lessons may have been delivered differently than planned. Teachers know their content and pedagogy, however, they don’t know their students until they have spent time with them as learners and individuals. Whether you are a novice or seasoned teacher, a lesson typically doesn’t transpire as planned, especially in September.  Although a seasoned teacher isn’t surprised by this, it requires a high degree of agility in craftsmanship to be responsive and even then, it doesn’t always go as expected. As Charlotte notes, “Most teachers leave school exhausted at the end of the day, knowing their students will return the next day rested and ready for more.” So, how does a teacher work smarter, not harder? 

Teaching stamina diminishes once the school year is in progress.  Much like “reading stamina,” I describe teaching stamina with a similar intention. Teaching stamina is “following plans and focusing on teaching students for long periods of time.”  

Teaching stamina is cultivated in July, deliberated in August, inaugurated in September, and strained in October through June. As described in Cluster 1 Clarity & Accuracy, teaching is a purposeful activity; it is goal-directed and designed to achieve particular well-defined ends. We know teachers make dozens of instructional decisions as they teach.  Teaching stamina fluctuates because efforts to follow plans and focus on teaching students are diverted and interrupted all. day. long.  

How can teachers increase teaching stamina?  The knowledge of how 1c designing coherent instruction and 3c engaging students in learning are connected provide teachers with the ability to make judgments in unpredictable conditions.  In Cluster 4 Intellectual Engagement, an indicator is to answer the question, “Who’s doing the work?” By examining the Cluster roadmap, teachers can use the focus areas as the landmarks during lessons.

The ability to adjust a lesson to increase teaching stamina amplifies a teacher’s confidence and effectiveness, therefore, reinforces a teacher’s self-efficacy.  Rather than expending mental energy on distractions and disruptions, teachers have the surplus intellectual capacity to be in command of their teaching stamina. Listen to Lien On Me on Youtube for more insights on connecting design and engagement through a strengths-based approach. 

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