Streamline literacy instruction while increasing student achievement DaveR. Stuart Jr.’s work is centered on a simple belief: all students and teachers can flourish. Yet that seemingly simple goal can feel unattainable when teachers are expected to teach core content within the disciplines and improve literacy in their classrooms. How can teachers and students flourish under so much pressure? Stuart’s advice: Take a deep breath and refocus on six known best practices– establish and strengthen key beliefs, then build knowledge and increase reading, writing, speaking and listening, and argumentation in every content area, every day. These 6 Things is all about streamlining your practice so that you’re teaching smarter, not harder, and kids are learning, doing, and flourishing in ELA and content-area classrooms. In this essential new resource, teachers will receive • Proven, classroom-tested advice delivered in an approachable, teacher-to-teacher style that builds confidence • Practical strategies for streamlining instruction in order to focus on key beliefs and literacy-building activities • Solutions and suggestions for the most common teacher and student “hang-ups” • Numerous recommendations for deeper reading on key topics In addition to teaching English and world history for more than a decade, Stuart is well-known for his blog DaveStuartJr.com, which has over 35,000 visitors each month. This popular resource has been a beacon of light for more than 10,000 subscribers who refuse to freak out about the everyday challenges of teaching in a high-stakes era. He presents professional development workshops and institutes for schools around the United States and offers a number of online learning tools and experiences on his website.
Part I: Start With the Heart
[Page 21]My grandfather, the mighty Dean Lewis Stuart, used to say that he was successful because he was lazy. The successful part I understood—he never went to college, but he retired as the beloved CEO of a multimillion-dollar organization—but the lazy part confused me. It wasn’t until later that I got what he meant: the simplest way to achieve something is the best. Simplicity was beautiful to my grandfather, and over-complexity was his enemy. He attributed his success to this disposition.
Too frequently, I see the opposite of this mentality in myself: I see the hours that I put into teaching as the measure of how successful I am, how much I care. This is absurd, of course. ...