Q&A with Author Doug Lemov
How does the Field Guide relate to the original Teach Like a Champion book?
The Teach Like a Champion Field Guide offers teachers a pragmatic guide for mastering the techniques profiled in the original Teach Like a Champion. Learning about the techniques used by effective teachers is a first step in the process of harnessing a teacher’s potential. In my role as managing director at Uncommon Schools I’ve found that teachers need to practice, to road test new techniques, to get feedback, and to try again. They also need to reflect upon areas to target for development. This Field Guide is designed to help teachers do just that.
With this book teachers will be able to find and strengthen their signature skills. It’s true that no champion teacher is without weaknesses, even those who take our collective breath away. What champions have in common is a portfolio of five or six skills at which they excel. Of course the skills aren’t the same ones for every teacher—the combinations are as unique as the applications. But it’s these skills that drive much of their success. The lesson from this is: strengthen your strengths as much as your weaker areas, make your strengths exceptional, even while you broaden the range of areas where you have mastery.
Where should teachers and instructional leaders begin their work with the techniques?
Given that there are 49 techniques I’m frequently asked, Where to start?
Every teacher and facilitator will approach this question differently. The way you move through the book and use it to enhance your teaching practice will be as individual as you are. Still, here are some initial thoughts:
If you wanted to begin with the two techniques that were most likely to revolutionize what I call “the culture of academic expectations” then I’d suggest you choose Cold Call and No Opt Out. But I realize not all teachers are looking for this kind of revolution as a starting point. In fact some of the best teachers argue that great classrooms rest on a culture of strong everyday routines that give teachers the power to teach efficiently and students the power to excel. These kinds of routines often free up astounding amounts of time for teaching. So, for many teachers starting with the techniques such as Entry Routine and Tight Transitions, in Section Five, numbers 28 through 35, makes a lot of sense. Another possible place to begin is with planning techniques such as Begin with the End and Double Plan. I hope you find that wherever you begin your work, the Teach Like a Champion Field Guide will help you make a strong start and sustain your practice.
From the Back Cover
In his acclaimed book, Teach Like a Champion, Doug Lemov shared 49 techniques that are essential to the art of teaching.
In this Field Guide he shows how to implement, customize, and master those techniques in practice.
The activities are designed to help teachers reflect, self-assess, and discover what techniques are most valuable to them. Teachers may evaluate their comfort and confidence in using the 49 techniques, easily compare notes with fellow teachers, and maintain a record of progress. More importantly, teachers will be able to unlock the talent and skill waiting in their students, no matter how many previous classrooms, schools, or teachers have been unsuccessful.
"As a K12 administrator and professional development trainer, I find that Lemov's work has provided our faculty with a shared vocabulary, a common set of expectations, and techniques that can be implemented immediately." Mark Wise, supervisor for curriculum and instruction, Plainsboro Regional School District, West Windsor, New Jersey
"Teach Like a Champion, both the book and Field Guide, offer hard-hitting ways to help teachers create classrooms that embody high expectations. This is professional development in its best form."Kelli Seaton, principal, Mastery Charter School-Pickett Campus, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
"The 49 techniques have had a powerful impact within our district. From Teach Like a Champion we've gained a deeper understanding of teaching, and we're excited to use this Field Guide to continue our progress."Terry Grier, superintendent, Houston Independent School District, Houston, Texas
A few of the practical tools found inside:
Troubleshooting. What challenges do you find when implementing the technique in your classroom? Solutions included!
Practice with Study Group or Partners. An array of discussion topics, observation worksheets, role plays, and skills exercises.
Analyze the Champions. View rich video clips of the techniques in action and answer accompanying questions for further reflection.