Teach Like a Champion - 49 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College

How much do I want to read more? 8/10

Yes those are good techniques to know when teaching kids.
It emerged from observing countless of teaching hours by many teachers, and filtering with the best of the best, who got tremendous results.
The book is a bit verbose, but just reading at the key idea of each, with one example should be enough to grasp and benefit from it.

FOREWORD - Norman Atkins

Doug Lemov is the John Madden of professional teaching. For the past dozen years, he has been standing in the back of hundreds of classrooms, watching thousands of hours of teachers’ game films, and analyzing their teaching moves with more enthusiasm and attention to detail than virtually anyone else in the history of American education.

he invariably finds a line of regres- sion that indicates students’ test scores are highly correlated with the amount of money their parents make and the zip codes where they live. demography is destiny.


Great teaching is an art.
Great art relies on the mastery and application of foundational skills, learned individually through diligent study.

Behind every artist is an artisan.
This book is about the tools of the teaching craft. More specifically, it’s about the tools necessary for success in the most important part of the field: teaching in public schools, primarily those in the inner city, that serve students born into poverty and, too often, to a rapidly closing window of opportunity.

to become one of those teachers who unlocks the latent talent and skill waiting in his or her students, no matter how many previous schools or classrooms or teachers have been unsuc- cessful in that task.

After years of observing and having read the work of Jim Collins, the author of the highly lauded books Built to Last and Good to Great, then I began to make a list of what it was these teachers did, focus- ing in particular on the techniques that separated great teachers from those who were merely good.
this is much more relevant and revealing than what distinguishes great from poor.


What ultimately helped me learn to teach was when a more proficient peer told me something very concrete like, “When you want them to follow your directions, stand still. If you’re walking around passing out papers, it looks like the directions are no more important."

Mulling your decision to run from the front a hundred times doesn’t make it any better, but practicing a hundred sprints with just the right body position does. This is why, in the end, focusing on honing and improving specific techniques is the fastest route to success.


Part One contains nine chapters that delve into the essential techniques I observed in the classrooms of exceptional teachers.
The techniques are clustered into chapters organized into larger themes that are relevant to your teaching: raising academic and behavioral expectations, structuring lessons, creating a strong and vibrant student culture, and building character and trust.

The forty-nine techniques to which the book’s subtitle refers appear in the first seven chapters. Chapters Eight and Nine discuss two other critical issues in teaching, pacing and questioning.

Part Two of the book focuses on critical skills and techniques for teaching reading.

It’s plausible that developing what you’re already good at could improve your teaching just as much, if not more, than working on your weaknesses.


Many of the techniques you will read about in this book may at first seem mundane, unremarkable, even disappointing. They are not always especially inno- vative.
The techniques described here may not be glamorous, but they work.


McCurry teaches his students how to pass out papers on the first day.
If McCurry’s students can accomplish this task in just twenty seconds, they will save twenty minutes a day (one minute each time).
There isn’t a school of education in the country that would stoop to teach its aspiring teachers how to train their students to pass out papers, even though it is one of the most valuable things they could possibly do.

consider a technique, called No Opt Out.
You ask James what 6 times 8 is. He shrugs and says, “I don’t know.” You ask Jabari what 6 times 8 is. Jabari tells you it’s 48 and you turn back to James: “Now you tell me, James. What’s 6 times 8?”
Next time he will know if he doesn't try, he will have to answer in the end anyway.
It also exposes James to a simple iteration of what successful learning looks like: you get it wrong, you get it right, you keep moving.


a teacher who decides all the standards she’ll cover for the next month, breaks them up into objectives, and then decides what activity will best accom- plish that day’s objective. The first teacher starts with the question, “What will I do today?” The second starts with, “How will I accomplish what I need to master today?”

Higher-Level Lesson Planning

Almost every teacher writes lesson plans.
Not only do the most effective teachers plan their activities, often minute by minute, but they script their questions in advance.
the fact that her lesson plan is essentially memorized allows her to focus more of her attention on exactly who’s doing what.
“Most people have the will to win; few have the will to prepare to win.”


foundational skills like memorizing multiplication tables enable higher- order thinking and deeper insight because they free students from having to use up their cognitive processing capacity.
The more proficient you are at “lower-order” skills, the more proficient you can become at higher order skills.

Part One - Teach Like a Champion: The Essential Techniques


high expectations are the most reliable driver of high student achievement, even in students who do not have a history of successful achievement.
“Pygmalion” effect.

Technique 1 - NO OPT OUT

maintaining the expectation that it’s not okay not to try.
Key idea: A sequence that begins with a student unable to answer a question should end with the student answering that question as often as possible.

Reluctant students quickly come to recognize that “I don’t know” is the Rosetta stone of work avoidance. Many teachers simply don’t know how to respond.

Technique 2 - RIGHT IS RIGHT

the difference between pretty good and 100 percent.
The job of the teacher is to set a high standard for correctness: 100 percent.
The likelihood is strong that students will stop striving when they hear the word right.

Key idea: Set and defend a high standard of correctness in your classroom.