by Jenn Hayhurst
When Vicki Vinton agreed to join #G2Great on April 27, 2017 to talk about her new book, Dynamic Teaching for Deeper Reading: Shifting to a Problem Based Approach, we knew her message would resonate. We knew her words would fill us up and give us the energy that would keep us going at a time in the year when we need it most. Her message speaks to the untapped potential as we strive to trust in ourselves, our students, and in the reading process itself. This is just what we do; we are teachers who try to see the good around each corner so we may add to the collective knowledge of our community, one where hope overflows. That is what Vicki Vinton did as she turned on a light and revealed how trust can transform our practice to dynamic teaching.
Why did you become a teacher? Each of us reading this post right now came to teaching in our own time and our own way. While there are so many paths that lead us to this moment in our careers, there are bonds that bind us together. When I think about the kinds of teachers who belong to the #G2Great PLN I am convinced that they are in fact dynamic teachers. The dynamic teacher seeks out and embraces the changing nature of our work and is constantly looking for inroads for progress. Whether we are just starting out on the journey, have been in it for a long time, or are somewhere in the middle, it is necessary to be wholly optimistic and trust in our abilities and in our students.
Trust as Self Awareness
Trust begins when we are self aware of our own learning process. If we can imagine what we need to learn we can begin to imagine what students might need. Then we can begin the work of forming strong relationships built on trust. If we want dynamic teaching to take root in our classrooms we consider what students know about trust. We model what relationships built on trust looks like, and act accordingly:
Trust as Decision Making
As we set up our classrooms we consider many important things such as: where our libraries should go, how to make tools accessible, or how to best use the space to create flow. Finding ways to encourage trust is just as important. Trust grows stronger when we appreciate student potential and learn to ask the right questions:
Trust as Process
Trust helps our students to take on challenges as opportunities for growth. We cultivate classrooms that run on trust through authentic relationships. When we take time to listen to our students and are responsive to their needs our teaching becomes truly dynamic:
Trust as Opportunity
Trust is the thing that helps the wobbly bike rider start off. Trust is the thing that allows the actor to speak on stage. Trust is the thing that helps the first grader read that book to a friend. Trust is the thing that lets the young writer tell a story. As you read Vicki’s beautiful words know that this happens every day in classrooms everywhere, but first there was a sense of trust between teachers and students:
Teaching is complex work. There is so much to consider and it would be easy to overlook how important trust is to the work we do with students. We are so grateful that Vicki began this conversation so that we would discover these four levels of trust. We are so grateful to have her in the lead, asking the questions that make us dig deeper so we can be the best most responsive teachers we can be, because our students are worth it.
Connect with Vicki Vinton
Dynamic Teaching for Deeper Reading: Shifting to a Problem-Based Approach (Heinemann)
A Toast to Provocations & Spirited Discourse: The Book Is Out!
Counting Down to Dynamic Teaching for Deeper Reading: Delving into Deeper Reading
Dynamic Teaching Facebook Group