What are your fundamentals of teaching? I asked myself this daunting question when I took over a college course on the foundations of education. The syllabus required that I address the history of our current school system, debates over reform, standards and testing, teacher preparation, and more.
I also wanted to highlight for my students the essential ingredients that had enabled me to have success in my teaching. For that, I needed a list.
I’m a compulsive lister. From a running tally of favorite writers to the menu of school-approved lunches on my fridge door, lists populate every corner of my life. A list is many things: memory device, record of ideas generated, dynamic display of knowledge.
A list is starting place and end product, often the first task when wading into a complex issue, and often the last task when development is done and implementation begins. I think of lists as both ground floor and roof.