I then explain that is why I will not hand out a syllabus this week because I need to know what you already know so that I can tailor the syllabus to meet your needs. They are surprised by this statement, because, in the past they come and we give a syllabus. This is interesting, it seems if a syllabus is provided first, we are focused on teaching, not on learning.
In college, pre-service teachers are asked to prepare lesson plans, for a group of kids and often given an outline to follow as they build. These plans are neat, sequential, and pre-services teachers are encouraged to have a very managed classroom. However, the plan is one plan for 23 different students with unique brains, how does that work when it comes to student learning, not teaching?
Often our Professional development, is focused on teaching. How to use technology, how to create formal assessments, how to use data, how to read standards, how to etc… You get it. But for a successful class, focus has to be on learning, not teaching. How can we begin to change that in the modern classroom?