Opinion Blog

Classroom Q&A

With Larry Ferlazzo

In this EdWeek blog, an experiment in knowledge-gathering, Ferlazzo will address readers’ questions on classroom management, ELL instruction, lesson planning, and other issues facing teachers. Send your questions to lferlazzo@epe.org. Read more from this blog.

Teaching Opinion

Q&A Collections: Mistakes in Education

By Larry Ferlazzo — August 29, 2021 8 min read
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During the summer, I am sharing thematic posts bringing together responses on similar topics from the past 10 years. You can see all those collections from the first nine years here.

Here are the ones I’ve published so far:

The 11 Most Popular Classroom Q&A Posts of the Year

Race & Racism in Schools

School Closures & the Coronavirus Crisis

Classroom-Management Advice

Best Ways to Begin the School Year

Best Ways to End the School Year

Student Motivation & Social-Emotional Learning

Implementing the Common Core

Challenging Normative Gender Culture in Education

Teaching Social Studies

Cooperative & Collaborative Learning

Using Tech With Students

Student Voices

Parent Engagement in Schools

Teaching English-Language Learners

Reading Instruction

Writing Instruction

Education Policy Issues

Assessment

Differentiating Instruction

Math Instruction

Science Instruction

Advice for New Teachers

Author Interviews

The Inclusive Classroom

Learning & the Brain

Administrator Leadership

Teacher Leadership

Relationships in Schools

Professional Development

Instructional Strategies

Best of Classroom Q&A

Professional Collaboration

Classroom Organization

Today’s theme is on mistakes in education. You can see the list of posts following this excerpt from one of them:

oneofthebiggestmistakes

*12 Common Mistakes Made by Teachers of English-Language Learners

Don’t assume students who are paying attention understand what’s being taught, and support learning in students’ home language, especially for young children. Those are among the ideas six educators share for helping ELLs.

* Don’t Make Assumptions About Your ELL Students

Seven educators offer their nominations for the most common mistakes made by teachers of ELLs, including making background-knowledge assumptions and not providing enough scaffolding.

* Teachers Must Create Ways ELL ‘Students Can Show Us What They Know’

Four educators share common mistakes made by teachers of English-language learners, including not being creative in how ELLs can show us what they know and by translating “everything.”

* Teachers With ‘Deficit Perspectives’ Do Not Help English-Language Learners

Four educators share what they think are mistakes often made by teachers of ELLs, including overusing technology and operating out of a deficit perspective.

* Nine Mistakes Educators Make When Teaching English-Language Learners

Confusing lack of English proficiency with lack of intelligence is among those mistakes five educators cite.

* ‘We Need to Face Our Own Discomfort’ About Discussing Racism

Marian Dingle, Sydney Chaffee, Raquel Rios, Rinard Pugh, and Dr. Kimberly N. Parker talk about mistakes that are often made when trying to tackle race and racism in the classroom and explore what we teachers can do instead.

* Race & Racism Are Not ‘Merely Curricular Topics’

Dr. Tehia Glass, Dr. Erin Miller, Eddie Moore Jr., Ali Michael, Marguerite Penick-Parks, Dr. Chezare A. Warren, Brian L. Wright, Ph.D., and Leah Wilson share their thoughts on the biggest mistakes made when approaching race and racism in the classroom.

* Teachers Can’t Ignore Racism Issues and Hope They ‘Will Go Away’

A three-part series approaching race and racism in schools is wrapped up by Dr. Larry J. Walker, Dr. Jaime Castellano, Dr. Mara Lee Grayson, Ashley S. Boyd, Jennifer Orr, and Kelly Wickham Hurst.

* Classroom Management—Mistakes and Solutions

Debbie Silver, Amanda Koonlaba, Katie Biggs, Jennifer Lasater, Tina H. Boogren, and Diane Mora contribute their remembrances of classroom-management mistakes.

* The Biggest Classroom-Management Mistakes

Theresa Staley, Judy Reinhartz, Lindsey Palmieri, and Louise Goldberg share their experiences with making classroom-management mistakes.

* ‘Start Classroom Management From a Place of Love, Not a Place of Power’

Anne Jenks, Peg Grafwallner, Kevin Parr, Rita Platt, Sarah Thomas, Thomas Kerman, and Paula Kondratko share their biggest classroom-management mistakes and what they should have done instead.

* Creating Classrooms ‘to Unlock the Learning Potential Mistakes Provide Us’

Experienced educators Doug Lemov, Danny Woo, Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski, Bena Kallick, Allison Zmuda, Jen Schwanke, and Mike Janatovich discuss how to handle student mistakes in the classroom.

* Mistakes Are ‘Learning in Action’

Warren Schnack, Jenny Edwards, Michael Thornton, Annie Ward, and Cathy L. Seeley share classroom strategies for effectively dealing with student mistakes.

* ‘Freedom to Fail’ Creates a Positive Learning Environment

Amber Chandler, Howard Pitler, Barry Saide, John Spencer, Riina Hirsch, Nadja Reilly, and Laura Taddei are today’s contributors on the topic of handling student mistakes.

* Recognize Students When They Learn From Mistakes

Margaret Searle, Diana Laufenberg, Jessica Lahey, Jonathan Cassie, Andrew Miller, Allen Mendler, and Mark Katz share their ideas on the topic of handling mistakes in school.

* ‘A Mistake Is a Door to Discovery’

In this last post of the series, Bryan Harris, Allison Rodman, Dawn Mitchell, Josh Patterson, Erik M. Francis, Otis Kriegel, Barbara Blackburn, and many readers contribute their thoughts on student mistakes.

* ‘Students Need to DO History, Not Just Listen to It’

Big mistakes are made in social studies instruction. What can teachers do to avoid them? Annie Brown, Amy Okimoto, Amy Fast, Lynette Yorgason, Mike Kaechele, and Dr. Rebecca Testa-Ryan weigh in.

* We Need to Create ‘Joyful Moments’ in Reading Instruction

Diana Laufenberg, Pernille Ripp, Valentina Gonzalez, Jeff Wilhelm, Barbara A. Marinak, and Linda B. Gambrell share their thoughts on mistakes to avoid when providing reading instruction.

* Mistakes Teachers Make in Reading Instruction

Regie Routman, Cindi Rigsbee, Dr. Rebecca Alber, Shaeley Santiago, and Wiley Blevins write about their suggestions for improving reading instruction.

* ‘There Is Not One Right Answer’ for Reading Instruction

Gravity Goldberg, Renee Houser, Tan Huynh, Samantha Cleaver, Jeffrey D. Wilhelm (with his second contribution to this series), Emily Geltz, and Sarah Shanks contribute answers to the question: “What mistakes do teachers make in reading instruction?”

* We Need to Let Students ‘Read, Read, Read’

Rita Platt, Sonja Cherry-Paul, Dana Johansen, Dr. Mary Howard, Bonnie Houck, Ed.D., Sandi Novak, Emily Phillips Galloway, Paola Uccelli, and Julie Swinehart wrap up a four-part series on reading instruction. I have also included comments from many readers.

* Mistakes Made in Writing Instruction & What to Do Instead

Lisa Eickholdt, Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski, Mary Ann Zehr, Nancy Frey, and Valentina Gonzalez share their commentaries on writing instruction.

* Avoiding ‘Missed Opportunities’ in Writing Instruction

Eugenia Mora-Flores, Julia G. Thompson, Karen Sher, Bret Gosselin, Dr. Vicky Giouroukakis, and Emily Geltz contribute their suggestions about writing instruction.

* ‘Do Not Grade Every Piece of Writing a Student Creates’

Tan Huynh, Dr. Lynell Powell, Dr. Rebecca Alber, Cheryl Mizerny, Mitchell Nobis, and Kai Marks write about mistakes made in writing instruction.

* ‘Nix the Tricks’ in Math Instruction

A three-part series about the mistakes made in math instruction concludes with answers from Dr. Hilary Kreisberg, Richard Robinson, Rachael Gabriel, Tamera Musiowsky, Dr. Fuchang Liu, Bonnie Tripp, Bill Wilmot, and Bradley Witzel, Ph.D.

* ‘It’s Time to Slow Down and Smell the Mathematical Roses!’

Sunil Singh, Laney Sammons, Abby Shink, Cathy Seeley, and Shannon Jones share their ideas on the mistakes that math teachers make.

* Mistakes That Math Teachers Make

This three-part series on mistakes made in math instruction “kicks off” with responses from Bobson Wong, Elissa Scillieri, Ed.D., Beth Brady, and Beth Kobett, Ed.D.

* Don’t ‘Steal the Aha’ From Science Instruction

Linda Tolladay, Patrick L. Brown, James P. Concannon, Ross Cooper, and John Almarode share their “nominations” for the biggest mistakes made by science teachers.

* Mistakes New Teachers Make & How to Avoid Them

Michael Janatovich, Sarah Thomas, Roxanna Elden, Kristi Mraz, Christine Hertz, and Julia Thompson contribute their suggestions.

* Administrators Shouldn’t Try ‘Too Many Initiatives’

A five-part series on mistakes made by school administrators is wrapped up today with commentaries from Dr. Lynell Powell, Stuart Ablon, Alisha Pollastri, Diane Mora, and many comments from readers.

* Administrators Can’t Lead From ‘the Confines of Their Office’

Julie Hasson, Ryan Huels, David Bosso, Cindy Terebush, and Kelly Wickham Hurst contribute their thoughts on administrators and the mistakes they make.

* ‘Principals Shouldn’t Be Lonely’

Jen Schwanke, Dr. Jenny Grant Rankin, Harvey Alvy, Michael Haggen, James Erekson, and Michael D. Toth write about their experiences working as, or with, school administrators.

* The Biggest Mistake by Administrators ‘Is Putting Tasks Before People’

Dr. PJ Caposey, Sarah Said, Amy Fast, Andrew Miller, Anthony Kim, and Edward Cosentino share their observations on mistakes administrators make and how to avoid them.

* Common Administrator Mistakes & What to Do Instead

Commentaries from Anne Vilen, Marcy Webb, Dr. Jason Kotch, Roxanna Elden, Baruti Kafele, and Dr. Manuel Rustin “kick off” this five-part series on administrators’ mistakes.

* Our Teaching Mistakes & What We Learn From Them

Today, Roxanna Elden, Julia Thompson, Ekuwah Moses, Jenny Edwards, Kevin Parr, and Leslie Blauman bare their souls to the world as they write about their biggest teaching mistakes.

* Making Mistakes & Learning From Them—Part Two

Today’s post includes responses from PJ Caposey, Jennifer Gonzalez, Arpine Ovsepyan, Marcy Webb, Marie Levey-Pabst, Vance L. Austin, and Steven Anderson. I’ve also included comments from readers.

The opinions expressed in Classroom Q&A With Larry Ferlazzo are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.


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