Deliberate practice is all about improving your craft. It has 5 key elements:
The question as to why you should engage in deliberate practice should be fairly obvious. The number one reason is to improve ourselves as teachers with the direct result of improving our students as learners.
In my classroom I have frequently set goals with students, created learning intentions, designed success criteria, monitored formative assessments and made adjustments to my teaching based on it and worked with my students to achieve the goals and help them learn how to learn along the way.
But I want to apply our learning theories to us as teachers! I want to increase my own effectiveness in the classroom and across the school. I want to be influential to not only my students but also to my peers and colleagues. Basically, I want to be the best teacher possible, and I believe that you do to.
Deliberate practice is a sure fire way to do this! And I believe that if you commit to deliberately stretching yourself, to deliberately trying to improve, you will not only create amazing “gourmet” learning for your students. I believe you will enjoy your work more. Applying this kind of focus and development to your craft helps increase your satisfaction. Your own confidence will increase, you will become better as a teacher and as a colleague.
By applying deliberate practice you can become “So Good They Can’t Ignore You”. That is your students will begin to love having you, your colleagues will notice that something is different and hopefully want to join you in your commitment to deliberate practice. Even your parents and broader community will begin to notice as you engage in this focused training to improve yourself.
Our biggest problem is time!!
Do hard things!
We have a saying in my house “we do hard things!” The fact that something can be hard is not an excuse not to do it. If it is uncomfortable or it stretches you, then it is probably worth doing, even if we fail.
Our time as teachers is constantly pulled in various directions. Our students need our time, we want to develop quality teaching and learning for them, our heads of department demand particular tasks, our deputies require us to attend meetings and complete administrative tasks, our Principal may ask more of us again and then there is the system itself that has increased our paper work to the determent of much of what we do.
This demand on our time makes it easy for us to say “I don’t have time for that”, but I want to tell you that yes you do, but it requires hard work. You are probably doing a tone of work that is actually not overly productive, some of which you cannot avoid, but I bet some of it you can. I will help you identify things you can cut out to allow you to reallocate time to this purpose. Sometimes you will be swamped and have reports, marking, programming and interviews all happening at once But, I want to call you to make a commitment!
If you are a leader in your school, commit to providing time for your teachers to engage in deliberate practice. If you are a classroom teacher commit to giving at least 1 hour a week to improving your practice. Take one of your periods off, take a lunch time, take an hour in the morning, wherever you can and devote it to improving your practice.
The next articles are going to be examples of how I think you can do this and I will even provide some advice on how you can carve out your hour by removing shallow tasks such as reading particular types of emails or browsing social media. And if you are the principal, I want you to think about how you can provide this for your teachers. How can you give them time to improve practice. Maybe it is as simple as sending an email rather than holding a meeting or ensuring the meetings are focused.
I want to encourage and inspire you to become the better than you think a teacher can be. Maybe the best way to start, is to reflect on your practice and set some goals before you go back to face-to-face class time. I have created a FREE course to help you get started with this. you can find out more by clicking the button below.
Let’s get better together! – maybe you can find someone already who can help keep you accountable to this commitment, or just post it publicly here!