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Say "Yes, And"

An Inspired Teacher’s instruction is all about saying “yes, and.” “Yes, and” to students’ questions and ideas. “Yes, and” to new learning opportunities that emerge in the midst of a lesson. “Yes, and” to surprise discoveries and unanticipated challenges. Embracing the unexpected - saying “yes, and” - means having a clear and focused goal, with many possible routes to reaching the goal. It means planning so thoroughly and knowing your content so well that you can build on students’ contributions to your lesson, comfortably moving through twists and turns, and still guiding students toward the goal.


“Yes, and” is a mindset that facilitates a constant building process. And it takes a lot of time and practice. Saying “yes, and” also requires a belief that student are experts in their own learning - in their knowledge, questions, and needs. It also requires a belief that the teacher’s job is to build students’ expertise.

Begin with one of the challenges below

Let Students Be Teachers

Restructure a lesson to increase the number of times students teach each other.

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