Checklists help us work better. They help us manage complex tasks more effectively and ensure we apply what we know correctly and consistently. They’ve become indispensable for airline pilots and doctors, but can this low-tech approach to planning and problem-solving demand a place in the teacher’s toolkit? Teaching is complicated, with challenging decisions and important consequences, but it’s in the most complex situations that a straightforward checklist can be the most useful.
In The 12 Touchstones of Good Teaching: A Checklist for Staying Focused Every Day, Goodwin and Hubbell present 12 daily touchstones – simple and specific things any teacher can do every day – to keep classroom practice focused on the hallmarks of effective instruction and in line with three essential imperatives for teaching:
- Be demanding: Align teaching with high expectations for learning
- Be supportive: Provide a nurturing learning environment.
- Be intentional: Know why you’re doing what you’re doing.
If there were one thing you could do each day to help one student succeed, you’d do it, wouldn’t you? What about three things to help three students? What if there were 12 things you could do every day to help all of your students succeed? There are, and you’ll find them in this book.