who’s your thermometer?

09 Apr

training is like teaching in so many ways, but one parallel struck me yesterday.  as a teacher, i would always find a few kids that i would watch to see how they were responding to the lesson. it wouldn’t be the quickest kid or the kid who struggles the most, or even the kids who tended to reside in the middle of those two points. i guess i would call it a somewhat random sampling that depending on the topic, the placement of the desk, the day of the week and maybe what was served for lunch that day that i made those sampling decisions. in a training the other day i realized i was doing the same thing and it seemed like i had a much larger range of “students” in the room this time. it’s tough to read a 20 year teaching veteran who teaches computer programming and at the same time be looking for ‘tells’ from a first year 6th grade language arts teacher! quite the range indeed. how do i flex my approach so it reaches the range of content areas, experience, level, school, etc.? then a follow up concern came to mind, what are the dangers of losing a group of adults who teach gifted students vs. losing a group of gifted students in a classroom? will the consequences of one be worse than the other? i saw my students every day so any ill will or session gone wrong could be mended the next day, but not so in a 6 hour training.

1 Comment

Posted by on April 9, 2009 in Uncategorized


One response to “who’s your thermometer?

  1. karen vanek

    April 13, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    You’re right that the collateral damage that can be done is riskier with teachers who you only get to see for a day vs. students who you can reconnect with on a day to day basis. However,
    students are students and each can leave a learning situration fired up and inspired to continue to grow and share. Also what students get out of a learning opportunity correlates to what they put into it. By monitoring and trying to adjust the pace, environment, correct misunderstandings, etc. maximizes the learning opportunities – no matter the age of the student. I find that trying to bring each educator’s area of expertise into the limelight some time during the training, helps to form the connections needed for them to validate the training and go away inspired to bring what they learned to others. Keep up your teacher instincts. They’re right on target.


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