I recently completed the teacher directed online learning course to become certified to teach at a school that has a TLC program. The course required educators to reflect on their teaching practice and how the implementation of the TLC program would change/enhance their current practice. This is my take on traditional learning and what it means for my art and humanities classes:
Changes to my daily classroom practice would include use of the agenda (not currently used formally at our school, although communication home is still pretty regular), uniforms and virtues. Most of the other characteristics are already in practice in my classroom. I think I teach the three pillars of respect, although not explicitly through modeling and through the way that I set up my studio habits rubric in art. Students need to actively participate in class, try new things, respect others through speaking positively about their work, cleaning up after themselves and respecting art materials.
Something new would be the vertical enrichment. This would require me to become more familiar with the social studies curriculum (2012/2013 was my first year teaching social studies) in order to move through it faster. I find that in my practice now, I don’t get to as many of the experiential learning activities that I want to because I am trying to cram in a lot of content. I find that my learners don’t regularly complete homework and require frequent review. It sounds like with TLC the content moves much faster to make time for the higher levels of blooms taxonomy and the activities that allow for UDI and personalized learning to happen. To me it seems like TLC is a balance between direct instruction and PL/UDI and I sometimes find that I am relying a lot on direct instruction in my current teaching practice.
It was asked of us to address the practice of having desks in rows in the TLC program. What would you say to a parent inquiring as to why the desks are or aren’t in rows in your classroom?
As for the desks being in rows, my desks are already in rows (pairs), but I move them periodically into groups. As I mentioned, TLC is a balancing act, so for those activities that require students to work with others and extend their learning into ‘real life’ contexts, desks in rows doesn’t always work.