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It’s funny the way things work sometimes. Over the weekend, my husband told me all about the making of an Old Spice commercial (opens in a new window). Apparently the commercial was all filmed in one shot, which will surprise you if you watch it! Twenty-four hours later, I’m wandering through the blogosphere on a totally unrelated topic and find a spoof of that same commercial, featuring Grover teaching all about the word “on,” (opens in a new window) maybe again created using one shot? Funny coincidence.

A similar (and much more related-to-reading!) example happened this week. I was watching this video of a teacher (opens in a new window) working to teach the ‘oi’ and ‘ire’ sounds to students. As I watched, I was so happy for her students. From the video, you could tell that the teacher was emotionally and physically engaged. She moved among her students, she encouraged participation. She reinforced students’ answers, and she mixed up her method of presentation to keep the kids engaged. If I were teaching that lesson, I may have done a few things differently, but overall it looked like pretty good teaching to me.

Then, again, wandering through the blogosphere on a totally unrelated topic I stumbled upon What is Good Teaching? (opens in a new window) from Brian Nichols over at Connected Principals (opens in a new window). He describes a workshop he attended where everyone watched a videotaped classroom lesson. Participants (administrators, curriculum supervisors) were asked to rate the lesson on a standard A-F scale. Not surprisingly, grades ranged from an A to an F with everything in between. Everyone had a different opinion as to whether the teacher was a “good teacher.”

Brian’s post made me wonder if others would agree with my assessment of the teacher I watched. It also made me wonder whether it’s possible to agree on what “good teaching” looks like. What do you think? What words would you use to describe good teaching?

About the Author

Along with her background as a professor, researcher, writer, and teacher, Joanne Meier is a mom. Join Joanne as she shares her experiences raising her own young readers, and guides parents and teachers on the best practices in reading.

Publication Date
October 21, 2010