“Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember;
involve me and I'll understand.”
- Chinese Proverb
There are several philosophies/practices that guide my daily work. Most of them I've picked up from my good friend and mentor. The philosophy of "Teach Don't Tell" has really been running through my mind quite a bit in my travels. We tend to do a lot of telling in education. I see it happen everywhere I go.....
- District Administrators tell Principals what they should be doing.
- Principals tell teachers that they should be instructing differently.
- Teachers tell kids that their answers are incorrect and to do it again.
We are all teachers yet we spend very little time teaching. We have all spent countless hours in meetings and professional development opportunities where we are told what best practices to use and which manipulatives are best.
How often are you actually taught how to do things? I would venture to say rarely because it is easier to stand and deliver. I am proposing a different way of leading from wherever you currently reside. Take the time to teach somebody the next time you have the urge to tell them what to do. There is a simple process to employ that is guaranteed to yield greater results than the typical "I'm going to tell you what to do method."