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Steve Haberlin's picture
Steve Haberlin is an assistant professor of education at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia, and author of Meditation in the College Classroom: A Pedagogical Tool to Help Students De-Stress, Focus,...
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Are you a RAD teacher?

No~ not a cool teacher or a Radical person who catches waves on their surfboard.

Rather~ RAD stands for reflect~ adjust~ deliver.

I think good teachers reflect on their practices--and not just test scores. Yes~ its a must to reflect on test scores and data and make adjustments in instruction~ but I think you should go far beyond that. The great thing about summer (besides time off and a chance to recharge) is that it gives teachers a chance to reflect on the previous school year and take those insights and use them to make improvements for the coming school year. So remember the three steps:


What went well? What lessons~ projects~ or new approaches did I try that worked well? What did I do that improved test scores~ behavior~ engagement~ relationships with my colleagues? Now~ think about what didnt work. Perhaps you tried to squeeze a project into too short a timeframe ~ and it stressed everyone out. Maybe a field trip wasnt worth the effort or money. Why did test scores in a certain subject drop? List everything.


Now~ create a list of improvements. What will you do differently this coming school year? Make a checklist of lessons~ projects~ seating arrangements~ schedules and write detailed notes about specific changes you will make. Maybe you need to change a rule about how students sharpen pencils or go to the restroom. Perhaps you are going to start coming in earlier to plan your day since you noticed on those days youre lessons went smoother. You might have learned of a new method of teaching math and you need to expand upon it.


Finally~ this is the action step. You must now commit to implementing the changes listed during the adjustment phase. One at a time~ make those changes. Use the downtime in the summer to get a head start. This is the toughest step~ but the one that will make the most difference. If you make improvements every school year~ adding new projects and lessons and improving your abilities~ it wont be long before you have parents and students lining up to get into your classroom. Word will spread that your a fun~ exciting~ dynamic teacher who gets results~ and people want to be associated with that energy.

So what are you waiting for? Become a RAD teacher and join me at http://community.educationworld.comcontent/radicalso we can begin the process of listing what worked and didnt work this school year and then make some positive changes.

Have a blessed day~ Steve