Never Work Harder Than Your Students and Other

The Master Teacher
What separates master teachers from the rest of us is that
they know how to think about teaching.They have
integrated the facts of teaching into their thinking and, as a
result, they do things automatically. From the outside, it
looks like they have the gift. But on the inside, it is simply a
matter of rigorously applying a few simple principles to their
Robyn R. Jackson
Never Work Harder Than Your Students and
Other Principles of Great Teaching (2009, p. xiv)
Master Teacher Mindset
The master teacher mindset is really a disposition toward
teaching. It is a way of thinking about instruction, about
students, about learning and teaching in general that
makes teaching fluid, efficient, and effective.
Robyn R. Jackson
Never Work Harder Than Your Students and
Other Principles of Great Teaching (2009, p. 2)
Introduction to the DVD
After viewing the introductory video segment,
consider the following questions in a Think-PairShare activity.
• When you were a student, how did your best
teachers make you work harder and love what
you were learning?
• What does being a master teacher mean to you?
Workshop Ground Rules
• Take responsibility for your own learning.
• Participate actively.
• Use the note-taking guide to track the principles
and things you’d like to try.
• Listen to learn.
• Be respectful of participants and the presenter.
• Honor time limits.
Are there other rules you would like to add?
Do we all agree on the rules?
Desired Outcomes
By the end of the session, you will be able to
• Explain the concept of never working harder
than your students.
• Define the seven principles of great teaching in
your own words and give examples of them.
• Present a rationale for each of the seven
• Identify problems that occur when the principles
are not used in the classroom and suggest
Desired Outcomes (continued)
• Self-assess how well you apply the mastery
principles in your own classroom.
• Develop an action plan to address principles you
want to work on.
• Identify potential applications, strategies, or
activities to enhance your practice of the seven
• Summarize your learning in a reflection activity.
Seven Principles of Mastery Teaching
1. Start Where Your Students Are
2. Know Where Your Students Are Going
3. Expect to Get Your Students to Their Goal
4. Support Your Students Along the Way
5. Use Feedback to Help You and Your Students
Get Better
6. Focus on Quality, Not Quantity
7. Never Work Harder Than Your Students
What Do You Already Know About the
Seven Principles?
Pre-Assessment Carousel Activity
1. How would you define each of the principles
of teaching in your own words?
2. Do you agree that these are the major
principles that master teachers use? Why or
why not?
3. Are there others that you think are just as
How Do You Practice the Principles in
Your Classroom?
• Complete the survey provided as a handout to
self-assess what you already do in your
classroom practice related to the mastery
• Score the survey.
• Use the results to help you set some goals
related to the principles.
• Focus on these goals both during and after the
video and workshop.
Format for Viewing Video Segments
• Examine the seven principles one at a time during the
video segments.
• Use the Note-Taking Guide handout to reflect on what
you see and to connect with your current classroom
• After each segment, identify and discuss problems that
occur when the principle is not evident in the classroom.
• Determine some possible solutions with a partner or your
table group, using the Problem-Solving Discussion
Guide handout.
Principle 1: Start Where Your Students
• In what ways do you get to know your students
and the currencies they bring to your
• Problems: Students can have problems related
to motivation, participation, behavior, or
interpersonal conflicts if they feel insignificant,
powerless, or slighted in the classroom. What
strategies or activities can you use to avoid
these problems?
Principle 2: Know Where Your Students
Are Going
• How do you plan your units and lessons to
ensure that students have an identified pathway
to reach the desired results of the unit or lesson?
• Problems: Instruction may seem disconnected.
Students may not be able to transfer what they
have learned to other activities, identify what’s
important, or see the relevance to their own
lives. What can you do in your planning for units
and lessons to address these problems?
Principle 3: Expect to Get Your
Students to Their Goal
• How are your expectations of yourself related to
your expectations of students?
• Problems: The brutal facts or realities in your
classroom or school can sometimes cause you
to have low expectations of yourself and your
students. What actions can you take to increase
your expectations of yourself and your ability to
ensure that all students can reach the goals you
have defined?
Reflect on What You’ve Seen So Far
• Think about the scenarios of the first three
principles of great teaching that you have just
• Complete and examine your note-taking guide
on these first three principles.
• If you have questions, write them on an index
card and give them to the presenter for
responses or discussion.
Principal 4: Support Your Students
Along the Way
• What strategies or activities do you plan ahead
of time to support students or to intervene if they
have difficulties?
• Problems: Students may fail a test, may not
understand or retain the material, or may lack
the background knowledge they need to do well
in your class. What plans can you have in place
to address these problems?
Principle 5: Use Feedback to Help You
and Your Students Get Better
• What feedback do you currently collect on
students’ progress? How do you use this
feedback to help students improve and to adjust
your instruction?
• Problems: Students may not know how to
improve their own performance. They may fail
the same types of assignments again and again,
and reach the point of frustration and give up.
How do you use varied assessments over time
to provide quality, ongoing feedback?
Principle 6: Focus on Quality, Not
• Given the requirements of state standards, local
curriculum, etc., how do you set priorities for
learning what’s most important?
• Problems: Curriculum may be “covered” but not
“learned,” students may not retain or understand
what they are learning, and lessons may be
heavily textbook dependent. How do you
address these issues in your planning?
Principle 7: Never Work Harder Than
Your Students
• How do students learn by taking more
responsibility for their learning?
• Problems: Students may not take ownership of
their learning. They may not do their work, or
they may be disorganized or not engaged. How
do you use the seven principles to determine
what work is yours and what work is your
Reflection and Questions
• Think about the examples and explanations of
all seven principles of mastery teaching that you
have seen.
• Review and complete the Note-Taking Guide
and Problem-Solving Discussion Guide.
• Review your self-assessment survey results and
the goals you developed for yourself.
• If you have questions, write them on an index
card and give them to the presenter for
Action Planning for Next Steps
• Using the Action Planning Template handout,
identify two or three principles that you would
like to work on during this school year.
• Complete the action planning template.
Great Teaching Through Mastery
• Great teachers evolve through continual work
based on job-embedded learning with a focus on
areas needing improvement.
• Teachers shown in this DVD all began as
novices with a passion for their work. They
received support through mentoring, coaching,
leadership, and formal professional
• Great teaching is also about the passion and the
importance of the role of a teacher.
Identifying Mentors and Coaches
• Whether you are a novice teacher or an
experienced one, seek support and guidance as
you move toward mastery teaching.
• Identify one or two colleagues that you believe
can provide this support.
• Meet with them one-on-one. Describe the
principles you wish to work on and the action
steps you wish to take. Ask for their help. If
possible, determine a regular meeting time.
• Invite these mentors into your classroom as you
try new ideas.
Teacher Leaders as Coaches and
• Be a good listener.
• Find ways to offer support to teachers interested
in growing professionally in classroom practices.
– Share best-practice resources that you use
and that might be helpful to your colleague.
– Offer to co-plan or co-teach a lesson or unit
that focuses on knowing where students are
going with defined priorities and expectations.
Teacher Leaders as Coaches and
Mentors (continued)
– Invite your colleague to observe when you are
doing a lesson that illustrates use of one of
the seven principles.
– Share your successful strategies and
activities related to the principles.
– Brainstorm solutions to problems caused by
insufficient attention to one of the principles.
Overlapping Roles of Teacher Leader,
Coach, and Mentor
• Collaborator or Consultant
– Provides expertise in content, process, and strategies including
modeling lessons and providing resources.
• Coach
– Supports teachers in strengthening planning, inquiry, reflection,
and problem solving.
– Uses nonjudgmental language.
• Staff Developer
– Identifies and plans for needs of ongoing professional growth for
individuals and groups.
– Presents and facilitates opportunities for others to acquire new
knowledge, skills, and understanding.
Overlapping Roles of Teacher Leader,
Coach, and Mentor (continued)
• Reminders
– Professional growth is an incremental
– Adult learners have special needs.
– Professional growth increases with successful
actions that lead to student achievement.
– Leading, coaching, and mentoring are
opportunities to increase your own expertise
and job satisfaction.
A Final Thought
Teaching, Learning, and
Any teacher can become a master
teacher with the right kind of support
and practice. The journey to great
teaching provides many rewards for
teachers and students along the way.
As leaders, we must provide that
support and those opportunities to
Reflection and Evaluation
• Consider the desired outcomes presented at the
beginning of the workshop and your initial
definitions and reactions to the seven principles.
How has this workshop affected your
understanding of mastery teaching?
• Complete the workshop evaluation and return it
to the workshop leader.
Copyright 2009 by ASCD, 1703 North Beauregard Street, Alexandria,
Virginia 22311-1714. All rights reserved.
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may be
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Photocopied and distributed.
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