Teach Like a Champion: 49 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College (K-12) Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 456 customer reviews

ISBN-13: 978-0470550472
ISBN-10: 0470550473
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Review

"If school districts are going to demand so much of teachers, then the least superintendents and schools of education can provide is basic tools. There is more power in effective training than there could ever be in threats." (Boston Globe, March 23, 2010)

Product Details

  • File Size: 2636 KB
  • Print Length: 355 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (March 4, 2010)
  • Publication Date: March 4, 2010
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003BGUON8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #371,744 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought TEACH LIKE A CHAMPION despite its admittedly cheesy title and without knowing that it was featured by the NY TIMES (which I gather from a sampling of other reviews). Before finishing Doug Lemov's introduction, I realized I was reading a book from "the charter camp" or the "standardized tests slash data is everything" camp. OK. Not having a closed mind (last I checked), I took a deep breath and dove in. Coming out the other end of the rabbit hole, I see that Lemov's Wonderland is not for everybody, but there's something in it for everybody. I said someTHING (or things). Others may find it far too elementary (literally -- given the age groups covered -- and figuratively). And though all of Lemov's teachers and examples come from private and charter schools and most of them are from the Uncommon Schools he himself is a part of, public school teachers can glean something from this mixed bag, too.

Let's start with the good: TEACH LIKE A CHAMPION is a practical book with strategies that can be used immediately in the classroom. You can use all, some, or a few if you wish. Why do I mention this first? Many teachers who invest in professional development books complain that their purchases are too much on theory and not enough on practical ideas. That won't be the case here. Satisfied?

Next: this is about as basic a nuts and bolts text as you can buy. Lemov names things experienced teachers might not even bother to, such as "No Opt Out" (meaning: it's bad to let a kid say, "I don't know") and "Right Is Right" (meaning: you have to answer the question fully and accurately). Still, what looks obvious to teachers already in the trenches might not be to newbies and interested parents.
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Format: Paperback
You simply won't find a more usable, clear-headed break down of the moves that great teachers use everyday to drive academic achievement in schools that serve low-income kids. I've been training and coaching teachers for the past 10 years, and there's nothing out there that holds a candle to Doug Lemov's work. The key is that Lemov's stuff is highly observable and practiceable. As a teacher or a teacher coach, you can put your finger on specific actions that were or were not taken -- and then you can practice those actions -- literally out loud, in the mirror, with a partner -- to make measurable improvements in the next lesson you teach. Most teacher education deals in the realm of the abstract or the long-term. Lemov's material has tremendous long-term benefits and a powerful, cohesive philosophical underpinning -- just like some of the things you learn in a traditional Ed School setting. But he makes these abstract ideas actionable and repeatable. And it's the combination of "get better now" while working toward a long-term vision of great teaching that makes this book absolutely indispensible. Essential.
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Format: Paperback
I am not sure where to begin, as I feel like the cliché David attacking Goliath. Although I believe that my lone voice may not cause much of an effect, I feel an obligation to level my criticism towards this book.
First, I will show you the weaknesses conceptually and then I will give my personal experience as a teacher to back it up. The main problem of this book is very simple, it lacks generalizability. This means you can not take the words from this situation and then inductively assume that it follows these are "49 techniques that put students on the path to college." It is very pathetic, sad and disappointing that thousands of college-educated adults (student teachers and teacher) could not see this. This line of "research" is known as process-product research, and it basically looks back from a result (student achievement) to the techniques that teachers performed in their classrooms. Even in the most well-designed, objective studies conducted by actual scientists and researchers they are the first to acknowledge that their results in those PARTICULAR classrooms may not transfer to ALL teachers everywhere.
However, Lemov (A Harvard Business school MBA) can not see, or more likely purposefully deceives his readers, of this fact. But Lemov actually takes this problem of generalizability to an extreme, nearly absurd, level. Because he chooses a very specific context, a network of charter schools in North East Cities with a high African-American population, and then generalizes his "findings" (which have no transparent method or discussion of results or data for the reader to review) to ALL teachers, ALL students and ALL classrooms his ideas lack any thing resembling generalizability. This is nonsense!
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Some of the techniques in this book are good, and I have incorporated them into my teaching. However for someone in the public school system this book provides little help, especially if your teaching in a high school. This book ought to be titled "How to Micro-Manage your Students and Classroom." The introduction is just way over the top. Mr. Lemov's primary goal in my opinion treats students like worker-bees and the teacher as a task-master. I believe that if you use every given second to teach, you and your students miss out on those moments when you get to learn more about your students and they get to learn more about you. Students who are in essence children do need time to breathe, and not just work till the last minute. If you really want to read this book, buy it used or see if your public library has it.
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