Thursday, October 16, 2014

Be the HEAD Coach in your Classroom!

Using the analogy of a Head Football Coach, I beg the question:  How much time do we spend on a week’s worth of lessons?  Having filled that role myself for several years, I thought it would be a fun analogy to do a basic breakdown of what a Head Football Coach and his Staff does in preparation for an upcoming game, and then in parentheses, apply classroom lesson terminology alongside it: 

Scout the Other Team: (Students' Interest Inventories, Boys vs. Girls learning styles)
Know their Strengths /Weaknesses: (Data, Question Item Analysis, Student Item Analysis)
Know their Tendencies/How they react to certain situations: (Lecture, Active Learning, Out of their seats, Peer Interaction).
What Plays will work best: (Learning Styles)
Have your Game Plan Ready: (Lesson Plans - purposeful - make a plan to WIN )
What to do on Special Teams: (Transitions to/from Lesson Subjects or Activities without a fumble)
Prepare your Team:  (Practice, Practice, Practice)
Pre-Game:  (Provide relaxing, purposeful environment.  Provide materials, supplies, equipment for your players to Win)
Organize Warm-Ups: ( Non-Instructional Routines, like getting Laptops, logging on, "Turning Screens" to the instructor, etc.)
Coin Toss: (The SET Activity)
Game Time: (Acting on your Plans, Using your Play sheets)
Offense: How to score points (Positive encouragement, authentic feedback, push to the Goal)
Defense: Prevent the opponent from scoring (Keep the negative things at bay, learn to make a positive out of a negative, keep them focused.)
Special Teams: Kick Off, Kick Off Return, Punt and Punt Return, Extra Point and Field Goal, Onside kick and Onside Kick Return Teams) Modifications for student learning, IEPs, Pacing, Re-Teaching a concept, Re-Testing)
Quarters: Change ends of the Field - wind conditions, the sun, etc. (Change up the Approach, allow student to take charge of their own learning.)
Time Outs:  Hear from the Players on the Field - (Feedback, Reinforcing Effort, individual Attention, Re-Focus, Re-Direct, Encourage)
Half Time: (Monitor and Adjust, Re-Teach from a different perspective, get information from the Players on what is happening, and then find a way to help them be successful)
Momentum:  (Shifts both For and Against you - take advantage of the "For"...stay with something a little longer than planned if you need.  Stop a bad activity before it takes you too far off course.)
Penalty Flag: Penalizes your forward progress. (Stop things that takes you backwards...away from your Goal.)
Out of Bounds: Play between the lines and boundaries.  (Something that's not in the Standards for your grade level or Subject, just because you like it...or have taught it for 20 years.  These get you off track...Off your game plan.)
Stop the Clock:  Slow it down... Keep the Players on the field a little longer, dictate the pace and speed of the learning.  Allow students the chance to be successful. Allow them more of a chance to score.)
Run out the Clock:  Let the clock run out so the game will end.  (Know when it’s been enough a time in your lesson that is Long to cover a subject, but Short enough to keep it interesting.)

WIN:  Score more than the opponent. (The really cool thing here is that when the students win, you win…Just like the Head Coach, and the Opponent is the non-engaged student or the teacher that fails to plan).

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