EduTips are micro-episodes of the Cult of Pedagogy Podcast.
Each EduTip offers one small, useful thing that will help you become a better teacher.

Sponsored by Reading Progress in Teams.


1. DON’T MAKE THEM READ AND LISTEN AT THE SAME TIME.

This is a mistake I see so many teachers, speakers, and other presenters make, and it’s so easy to fix! 

Here’s the problem: We give our students something to read—it might be a handout, a syllabus, a brand-new assignment, a PowerPoint slide, a website—you get the idea. And ostensibly we want them to read the thing. But then we start talking. And some of us talk and talk and never stop, the whole time these poor kids are supposed to be reading the thing we just gave them. I don’t know about you, but my brain doesn’t work like that. I can’t read one thing with words and listen to something else with different words and actually process both.

And then—then!—when the allotted time for reading is up, some of us go ballistic when (a) a student shows lack of understanding of the material they were supposed to read, or (b) a student seems to have not been listening to the thing we just said. The truth is, we caused this problem.

So the next time you have something written that you want students to read, but you also have some stuff you need to say out loud, provide separate times for both.