Many of my students, when pressed, struggle to say just what learning is. They can tell you about completing tasks, checking grades, keeping track of emergency passes, and so on. In other words, they are aware of schoolish behaviors. But they can’t tell you exactly what’s happening when they learn or how one goes about […]
Let’s Make Teaching Better.
Dave Stuart Jr. is a husband, father, and high school teacher who writes about education. He reads extensively across the disciplines so that he can create uniquely satisfying professional development experiences for his colleagues around the world. His mission is to encourage and equip educators on the journey to long-term flourishing and professional excellence.
Professional development. (The good kind.)
If we’re going to make teaching better, we’ve got to improve professional development. I’m not the guru, but I have spent thousands of hours practicing and researching the art and science of educator-centered, high-impact PD. My hope with all of these is that they help.
And oh yeah: I’m still a teacher. I’ve never left the classroom. With 120 students on my roster each year, it’s impossible for me to detach theory from practice.
My schedule-friendly, all-online professional development courses are designed with busy educators in mind. Starting in Summer 2019, expect versions of my online courses that you can use in whole-school staff meetings.
I speak and lead education workshops for a limited number of schools and organizations around the world each year.
Books + Blog
My best-selling book, These 6 Things, has been read and cherished by secondary teachers around the world. My blog is read by over 35,000 educators each month.
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The Latest from the Blog
Perhaps the day will come when human beings attach their brains to the Internet and become one with the digitized knowledge-base. Billionaires are investing in this kind of research, and the science is fascinating, bizarre, and frightening. But here’s my take: until that time, the human being with a knowledge base in their brain will […]
Last time, I wrote about how our relationships with students are sure to break down. This is why I’ve added “Repair” to the CCP of teacher credibility that I wrote about in These 6 Things, Chapter 2: Care, Competence, and Passion. If you cannot identify and repair faltering student-teacher relationships, you’re bound to be befuddled […]
The reason I got to thinking about entropy recently is because I started seeing a pattern: relationships with students often fall apart. I’ve written a lot about how relationships aren’t the point of school — it’s actually not “all about relationships” — but they sure are important. Perhaps most critically, caring relationships enhance my credibility; […]
“Only entropy comes easy.” Russian playwright Anton Checkhov, as cited in Weinburg and McCann’s Super Thinking: The Big Book of Mental Models The second law of thermodynamics essentially holds that, without new investments of energy, things fall apart — hot things become cold, neat things become messy, clean things become dirty. As physics professor Denis […]
The fastest way to master anything is simple: good teaching and good practice. Good teaching makes clear what needs to be learned, discerns and pursues the most promising means for students to learn it (regardless of whether or not the means align with whatever teaching dogma is presently in vogue), and takes pains to create […]
Part of the naturalization process in the United States involves memorizing 100 facts about the country. These facts cover its government, its history, its geography, and its symbols. (Here’s a PDF of the full list.) They are formatted in a Q&A style. (Example below.) On test day, would-be citizens are asked 10 random questions from […]
I’ve heard from plenty of teachers, “Well, in my class, they should already know how to study, so I don’t teach the students how to do it.” This, in my opinion, is unwise. If you want your students to put forth effort, then they need to believe that their effort will pay off. This is […]
The other day, I shared a video with my ninth graders made by a Michigan high school teacher and author, Chase Mielke. Chase had sent the video to me a week or so before, and I thought it connected well with a pair of burning questions my students and I had been pursuing of late: […]
In a 2020 study published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly, researchers from Temple University share an interesting finding: in a group of preschool and kindergarten classes, the complexity of teachers’ language during morning message and small groups had a significant relationship to students’ vocabulary development. “Together,” the researchers write, “the results imply that complex syntax […]
Some years ago, I had the chance to take the Scholastic Reading Inventory test that my students take to determine their Lexile scores, which in turn gives us a rough sense of what their reading “grade level” is. You take the test on a computer, and it’s dynamic — so as you answer questions correctly, […]
Educators around the world have taken up a simple, high-leverage habit: moments of genuine connection. Armed with clipboards and simple class rosters, these folks try to engage each of their students in 30-90 second interactions. The goal is simple: communicate to the child that they are valued, known, and respected. “Rubi, it’s good to see […]
You’re a good teacher, so it’s probable that you do some kind of goal-setting with your students. If you’re super sharp, you might even use the WOOP method developed by Gabrielle Oettingen. When goals or plans are vague, they don’t work well. Vague goals anesthetize the goal-setter. “Yeah, I’m paying more attention to school,” the […]
The next time you walk away from a negative conversation, ask yourself: What benefit came from that? These are the kinds of conversations I’m talking about: “So-and-so Teacher can’t manage his classroom. Oh my goodness.” “So-and-so Administrator said this to me. Can you believe it?” “So-and-so Parent emailed for the tenth time today. Agh!” We […]
Identifying one’s principles is a good exercise. Here are some I hold that you might, too: All students have value as human beings. All students possess yet-to-be-tapped long-term flourishing potential. All students possess likable qualities. It’s good to know what you stand for, what you value. And, as I’ve written before, research suggests it’s helpful […]
Here’s a common motivational obstacle in the secondary classroom: because a given assignment or course isn’t aligned with a student’s future employment plans, the student decides that the work isn’t valuable. I’ve had parents communicate this belief, too. It sounds like: I’m going to be a welder, Mr. Stuart. History doesn’t matter for that job. […]