Jon Belt teaches 6th grade at Mayfield Middle School in Oklahoma City. Jordan Flowers and Conner Odom are 2 students in Jon’s class. This episode is about Jon introducing learning stations in a lesson. The stations mirror the READS method which Jon details in the episode. Introducing movement and structure to class is something all educators should strive for weekly. This episode is worthy for its promotion of this concept, but as I interviewed this empathetic educator and his wonderful young students, another even more powerful dynamic surfaced. Jon Belt has fostered a learning environment where students feel totally comfortable helping Mr. Belt become a better teacher. He asks them to evaluate his teaching and they freely comply in positive and constructive ways. Displaying this powerful and positive dynamic is just as, if not more, important than the excellent learning tactic Jon describes.
When I was in 6th grade many moons ago, my teacher was not to be evaluated by students. If I would have offered some teaching advice, I may have ended up on the business end of her paddle. Now, please don’t interpret this wrong. I had wonderful teachers growing up. I loved my 6th-grade teacher, Mrs. Bates. It was just a different era. My wonderful teachers would have been even more effective if they would have included, then acted upon, student input.
As you listen to these 3 beautiful people from OKC, consider how their words could impact your class. Implement Jon’s movement and structure method and listen to Jordan and Conner chip in sage advice on how to improve this tactic. Finally, consider how you can empower your students to help you become a better teacher.
Jon is not just a model teacher, he’s also a fellow podcaster. Follow this link and savor Jon’s Teacher Tunnel Podcast. I was honored to have been a guest earlier in the year!
Kids are stuck in their desks and don’t get to move. Also, kids aren’t empowered to help teachers improve.
Introduce learning stations and ask for student input.
What You Can Do Tomorrow:
- Divide tomorrow’s lesson into tasks.
- Create learning stations around your room based on those tasks.
- Group your students to facilitate learning.
- Give kids a time limit at each station.
- Conduct a class discussion or debriefing and learn from your most important evaluators.
Introduce structured movement and listen and then act upon the sage advice of your students.