#034 Doug Lemov: Teach like a Champion and Top Tips for delivering training

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On this episode of the Mr Barton Maths Podcast, I spoke to Doug Lemov

Let’s be honest, Doug is a legend. He is probably best known as the author of Teach like a Champion – a book which has had a huge influence on the last few years of my teaching and thinking, and which I believe is a must for all teachers to read, jam-packed as it is with loads of practical, easy to implement strategies that can be truly transformative. Doug is also the coauthor, along with his Teach like a Champion colleagues, of Practice Perfect and Reading Reconsidered: A Practical Guide to Rigorous Literacy Instruction. He is a former teacher, the former Managing Director of Uncommon Schools (something we talk about in the interview), and his CPD sessions are regarded as some of the very best in the world.

In a wide-ranging interview we covered the following, and more:

  • Where did the idea for Teach like a Champion come from?
  • Doug and I share our past mistakes with regard to “tells” in the classroom
  • Doug picks out one strategy from Teach like a Champion that everyone listening can use right away, and it is a classic
  • Then we get a world exclusive look at some strategies that will be included in Teach like a Champion 3.0
  • I then ask Doug about professional development, and he shares some outstanding, practical advice for anyone giving any form of training to their colleagues
  • Doug then reflects on what he feels is the most important finding from educational research that all teachers should be aware of
  • Before finally sharing some book recommendations and blogs to check out

I’ll be honest, I was incredibly nervous in the build up to the interview. I even had to knock back two cups of Mellow Birds coffee to take the edge off. I guess I should be used to talking to my heroes on this show by now, but Doug was someone I had wanted to have on for so long. But I need not have worried – Doug was humble, knowledgeable, engaging, and just a superb guest. This is another of those interviews to share with your non-maths colleagues, as the ideas and insights Doug shares are incredibly useful no matter what subject you teach. Oh, and if you haven’t snapped up Teach Like a Champion 2.0, then I promise you will not be disappointed.

Speaking of books – notice the seamless transition there – let me quickly take this opportunity to mention – and when I say mention, I of course mean shamelessly plug – my book. In tribute to Doug, perhaps I should have called it Teach like a maths teacher who has been getting it completely wrong for 86% of his career, but in the end I went for How I wish I’d taught maths. It is based on my thoughts from two years of interviewing the world’s leading educational experts on this podcast – including Dylan Wiliam, Robert and Elizabeth Bjork, Daisy Christodoulou, Greg Ashman, Kris Boulton, Doug, and many more – reading over 200 research papers and books, and most importantly of all, trying, failing and modifying the strategies based on the experiences of my students. It is published by John Catt Education, and it should be out in time for Christmas 2017 – just in case you are short of gift ideas for your mum, son, Granny, dog, etc.

On Twitter, Doug is @Doug_Lemov
His website is teachlikeachmpion.com
Teach like a Champion 2.0 is available from Amazon here
Links to the books Doug recommends teachers read can be found here, along with the recommendations of all my other guests.

Doug Lemov’s Big 3
1. Harry Fletcher Wood’s blog
2. Jo Facer’s blog
3. Carl Hendrick’s blog

My usual plugs:

Thanks so much for listening, and I really hope you enjoy the show!
Craig Barton

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