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Teach Like a Champion

‎Teach Like a Champion 49 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College

 

 

Teach Like a Champion 49 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College

 

If John Madden—enthusiastically drawing Xs, Os, and squiggly lines on our TV screens, diagramming games, down by down—is the explainer par excellence of professional football, Doug Lemov is the John Madden of professional teaching (Teach Like a Champion). For the past dozen years, he has been standing in the back of hundreds of classrooms, watching thousands of hours of teachers’ game films, and analyzing their teaching moves with more enthusiasm and attention to detail than virtually anyone else in the history of American education.

 

Teach Like a Champion 49 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College

 

He’s gone about this systematically and with a tremendous sense of purpose, creating and poring over countless scatter-plot charts. When Lemov graphs schools by two variables—their academic performance on the y-axis and the poverty index of their students on the x-axis—he invariably finds a line of regression that indicates students’ test scores are highly correlated with the amount of money their parents make and the zip codes where they live. If he were a sociologist, he’d conclude what far too many children growing up in poverty, even in this land of opportunity, already know from experience: demography is destiny.

 

Teach Like a Champion 49 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College

 

Now having taught and served as a principal of a school where low-income students triumphed over their putative demographic fate, Lemov is always mining for more promising data in the service of a more urgent mission: the fight for educational equity. He is not interested in the line of regression so much as the very few dots in the upper-right-hand corner of the charts soaring several standard deviations above their predicted place on the line. These dots represent nonselective schools that serve primarily students who receive subsidized lunch and, at the same time, score better on the state test than their more affluent peers. For the past decade, Lemov has run to these schools, identified the teachers generating the remarkable results, camped out in their classrooms, and watched the tiniest details, from how they greet students at the door to how they pass out papers, from how they cold-call students to how they wait for answers. He has documented and built a database of thirty-second video clips of these moves.