In navigation, “true north” is the direction to the Earth’s axis. It differs slightly from a compass’ magnetic north, and from a map’s grid north. So it takes some reflection, calculation, and adjustment to find. In life, the metaphor plays out to mean finding one’s authentic life and living it to one’s fullest potential. So I thought I’d relate it to the plight of a teacher running a Learner-Active, Technology-Infused Classroom, in relentless pursuit of the greater purpose of ensuring learning for all students.
In #LATIC, true north would be a set of beliefs to which you are striving, always pointing. They include:
- All students can learn at high levels; it is a teacher’s job to help them figure out their personal path to success.
- Engagement is key to learning: not compliant engagement merely through activity choice, but that which comes from grappling with real world problems that give purpose to instructional activities.
- Students must be empowered through responsibility and choice in order to build executive function and be prepared for life beyond school.
- Direct instruction in rigorous content is essential and is provided through carefully crafted learning activities; web-based activities; how-to sheets; and small-group, mini-lessons.
- A teacher’s role during class is to facilitate: ask probing questions, challenge thinking at deeper levels, gather assessment data to drive further activities, and be a key part of a student’s learning process.
As you continue to design and perfect your classroom learning environment, keep your sights on true north. Check the daily decisions you make against the beliefs held by Learner-Active, Technology-Infused Teachers.