Teachers make instructional decisions… but how?!?

Bad memory

How do teachers make instructional decisions while they’re teaching a lesson?  When teachers perceive their students aren’t grasping the content or skills at the heart of a lesson, how do they identify the specific instructional changes that are needed to get the lesson and the students back on track? And how do they make these on-the-fly decisions while they’re teaching?

How do teachers make instructional decisions while they're teaching a lesson? … Click To Tweet

I’ve been asking these same questions about teachers and teaching for the past 25 years and I’m still stumped!  I guess I’m a slow learner.


Bad memory

How did I make instructional decisions while I was teaching? I can’t remember!


Given that I began my career as primary grade teacher, it seems as if I should already know the answers to these questions. I mean, I actually DID this work myself. I do remember doing these things—planning lessons I thought would engage my kids; observing students’ facial expressions and behaviors while I was teaching to see who was with me and who was drifting away; changing up a lesson that wasn’t working—but I don’t recall any details about HOW I made those determinations and decisions. As I recall, it just sort of…. happened.

I’ve been working as a teacher educator for 25 years and I know better than to tell my credential candidates that it’s easy to make instructional decisions while teaching a lesson because “they just sort of happen.  Poof!  Like magic!”


Instructional decisions…just like magic!

All teachers make quick, decisive decisions on the fly when they’re teaching lessons to their kids. How do  you do this? Do you use a particular process? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences!

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