THE THIRD CIRCLE
“A good teacher, like a good entertainer, first must hold his audience’s attention. Then he can teach his lesson.” – Hendrik John Clarke
Burgess makes this analogy in the book- it’s like riding a bike with flat tires. You can keep pedaling and be going the right direction, but with flat tires you won’t be going anywhere fast, and it’s going to take you a lot more effort to get there.
The tires on your bike represent your teaching content and your technique and method. Those are very important things! You can’t teach without them, cause there would be nothing to teach without them!
“If you don’t have the content element of your lesson in place, you are either just entertaining or babysitting.” (Burgess p.76)
The hooks that Burgess goes on to describe in this section of the book can’t be used unless you know your content. But just having the tires on your bike doesn’t mean you’re going anywhere. You need air in those tires! The air for the tires is called Presentation. That’s the third circle.
“Your key content- the most important information you are trying to teach- should be delivered at the moment of peak engagement.” (Burgess p.81)
“To keep your students from mentally checking out, try to get all administrative activities out of the way before beginning your presentation. If students will need materials, have them get them out before you start.”(Burgess p.81
Discussion Question #1 – Imagine yourself going to the Educational BBQ and you’ve been asked to bring something to the table. Which item would you be able to bring with no problem? The meat, seasonings, the grill, or a side dish?
I’ve worked really hard over the past three years as a TCA to be able to bring “the meat” to the Educational BBQ. As many of you are aware there are really no district assigned standards for me to meet in my classes. I’ve done research and each year edit the standards I’ve found from the ISTE and CSTA to create standards that fit what I see that the children need and what the teachers have told me the kids need. It is important to me that my class be more than “babysitting with computers” as I’ve heard from many has happened in elementary IT classes around the district through the years since its inception. I want students to actually learn something they can use in the classroom, at home, in life. They need to see a reason for doing what I ask them to do and standards help me to explain to them the reasons.