Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

06.01.17Video from our Annual ‘Practice Perfect’ Workshop

Image result for practice perfectJust two weeks to go until our annual Practice Perfect workshop when we spend two days studying what is probably the secret to more effective teacher training- deliberate practice.

Teaching is a performance profession–though few people think of it that way.  This means that we perform live. We go on stage five times a day. And we cannot press pause and stop and think when the work gets tricky.  So one of the keys to getting better at teaching is practicing.  Other performance professions understand this.  Tennis players hit 1000s of iterations of the new backhand before they try it at center court.  Surgeons practice sutures on oranges until the can stitch up a wound with their eyes closed–or with their mind focused on other more important aspects of surgery.

So… imagine something that would make your classroom better–maybe better Wait Time. You can read about it all day, think about it, want to get better at it. The thing that will most enable you to walk into a classroom and make a habit of waiting before taking an answer while David is waving his hand in the air, you’re trying to remember why Tianna said about Lord of the Flies and you don’t want to forget to tell the kids at the end of class that the HW has changed, though, is practice. Trying it ten or twelve or fifty times with a colleague who can say… “Ohh nice job there. Loved it when you smiled as you waited” or “Ok but try walking when you wait; it seems more natural.”

Anyway at our workshop we’ll dig into how practice can best be designed to make teachers, students and others better at the things they seek to master.

Like all our workshops it’ll be full of video and I thought I’d share a few quick examples. Early on the first day we’ll watch this video of future hall-of-fame guard Dwayne Wade practicing his dribbling (with now Memphis Grizzlies coach David Fizdale) and apply what we learn to developing teachers (and students):

Wade.Fizdale.Recut.05.30.2017 from TLAC Blog on Vimeo.

So much to learn from that one… about practicing the fundamentals–even when you’re the best in the business–about the link between skills and creativity, about the use of video to self-study.

On the second day we’ll discuss how modeling can be used to accelerate and shape learning dirng practice and we’ll watch this equally incredible video of British ballet greats Monica Mason and Kristin McNally.

MonicaMason.TwoModels.Revised.V4.05.30.2017 from TLAC Blog on Vimeo.

For this one we’ll compare and contrast the ways that Monica sets Kristin up for success with two different approaches to modeling: one that’s about giving her specific high level technical feedback, the other that helps her imagine how to interpret and find her own style of execution.  It’s brilliant stuff.

And of course we’ll watch lots and lots of teachers practicing their craft.

Anyway we hope you can join us.  Details here in case you want to sign up:

Or email for details.

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2 Responses to “Video from our Annual ‘Practice Perfect’ Workshop”

  1. Jennifer Tolentino
    June 8, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    I am interested in attending this session during the 2017-18 school year. When will a schedule be posted for future sessions? Thanks!

    • Doug Lemov
      June 9, 2017 at 7:12 pm

      today or monday with a little luck. Sorry so slow!!!

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