Where did the time go?

Creating a classroom culture centered on invitations to learn takes patience, time and persistence. When we apply discipline using consequences rather than punishments, we build trust and confidence by letting students and parents know school will be personal, active, and student-centered, not impersonal, inactive and passive. We become released from the tyranny of teaching-as-talking when we decide to teach by answering the question, “What can I do every day to make learning happen for each and every student in my classroom?” Of course, colleagues might pressure us to abandon such thinking by reminding us, “This is how we do things around here.” But once we commit to teaching for learning, we cannot turn back.

We remember our great teachers, because they engaged us. Whatever their teaching styles, we knew we were learning—we felt invited. Even if they lectured, we felt privy to their minds. We learned. Making every moment an invitation to learn opens infinite possibilities. We know we have succeeded when we wake up at the end of class as if in a dream.

“Where did the time go?” we ask. “Where did it go?” our students reply.


Reflection: [Each chapter ends with a Reflection]

Unless we are willing to take responsibility for motivating our students, we may decide not to place much emphasis on intriguing them to learn. We will tend to blame them for being lazy or unwilling learners when, in fact, they may not see the purpose of learning what we want them to. We might be surprised, however, if we raise the ante of expectations by implementing invitations to learn…

For more about the key role of invitations in teaching see Chapter 4 in Teaching from the Middle of the Room: Inviting students to Learn from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Teaching-Middle-Room-Frank-Thoms/dp/0615358918.