Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

09.10.15Teach Like a Champion is Going Out of Print! (Sort of)

TLac 2.0 Cover

Somewhere in the warehouse where my publishers, Jossey-Bass, keep books, there are 700 copies of the original version of Teach Like a Champion.  I assume Amazon also has a bunch in their vast array of warehouses too. But either way, at some point in the coming weeks those copies will be sold and that will be that. No more Teach Like a Champion: 49 Techniques that Put Students

on the Path to College.  At my request, TLaC 1.0 is going out of print.

I thought I’d take a moment to explain why.

First there will still be TLaC so please don’t panic if you are a fan of the book. TLaC 1.0 is going out of print to better emphasize my belief in Teach Like a Champion 2.0 and to clarify confusion about the two books.

I often get asked: Which book is better? The answer is, “The new book is better,” and so I want people to read it (and therefore not 1.0).  Please know that I am grateful for everything I took from the teachers I studied for the first iteration of the book.  The ideas are so powerful. Their videos are still inspiring. But what I have learned about teaching since, both new ideas that add to and balance the original ideas and new applications of the original ideas, learned by watching great teachers adapt the original ideas, is more rigorous and applicable for more teachers.  In the intro to the second edition, I describe this as the “virtuous cycle”: give smart teachers a useful tool and what they do with it is make it better, more robust, more rigorous.

So, for example, in the new version of the book I was able to emphasize the critical importance of Check for Understanding (CFU), building it out from a single technique, hidden away in the Lesson Structure chapter, into two chapters and its own section of the book.  CFU is important.  Too important to hide. More important than other ideas in the first book. So when folks read first version book and I think about how CFU is described I feel a little embarrassed, frankly. I want them to read the best and the latest.  Multiply that by a score of similar changes and you’ll get the idea that I feel very strongly about the new version versus the older one.

Further four or five more years of study have allowed me to use Check for Understanding in reflecting on TLaC and to understand ways that some of the ideas I described were poorly described or wrong in some ways or might be applied less productively or even counter productively because of the way I talked about them.  I have seen the reality of this in classrooms occasionally and re-wrote large sections—the intro to the High Behavioral Expectations chapter, for example—to address this inevitable gaps. I even dropped some ideas that I thought were distracting or too inclined to be misapplied.  In short, teachers do such important work, every day. I want those who take the time to read my book to have the best information I can possibly provide.  Switching readers from 1.0 to 2.0 2. (and hopefully the blog for further ongoing updates, if I may say so) does that. And since many people still buy 1.0, I think it’s best to get it out of print.

So with apologies to anyone who has a section they love of 1.0—the reading section jumps to mind but please know that my forthcoming book with Erica Woolway and Colleen Driggs picks up that section and goes all book length discussion on it—and with particular thanks to the teachers whose classrooms I shared snippets of, either in writing or in video, I think now in my heart that it’s time to make the switch.  So Teach Like a Champion: 49 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College is now Teach Like a Champion 2.0: 62 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College and is to me the official version of the book.

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