I’m about 2/3 of the way through Maggie Lampert’s remarkable book “Teaching Problems and the Problems of Teaching.” Why remarkable? Because she collected and analyzed massive amounts of data from an entire year of problem-based teaching, in order to figure out what kinds of decision-making and planning and work went into the art of teaching (at least for those kids, with that teacher, that year). It is both a teacher journal and an academic work, and it’s one of the best descriptions of the act of teaching I have ever read.

Meanwhile, I’m being a sort-of math coach this year (doing weekly visits to a small group of teachers at a public high school, helping them implement a problem-based curriculum). I’ve tried to hold onto Lampert’s descriptions of all of the decisions she’s balancing within every teaching act, and I’m really mindful of the complexity of teaching as I observe and debrief with my coach-ees. But there’s something more that I need to be doing as a coach, someone with long-term learning goals for the teachers I work with.

Thinking about the problems that Lampert lays out:
* Teaching to Establish a Classroom Culture
* Teaching While Preparing for a Lesson
* Teaching While Students Work Independently
* Teaching While Leading a Whole-Class Discussion
* Teaching to Deliberately Connect Content Across Lessons
* Teaching to Cover the Curriculum
* Teaching Students to be People Who Study in School
* Teaching the Nature of Accomplishment
* Teaching the Whole Class
* Teaching Closure

I wonder, in trying to change individual or school or district-wide teaching practices, do all of these levels need to be addressed? Is there an order? How are they interrelated? Are we better at addressing some than others? Is this a useful framework for organizing math coaching interactions?

Please think with me in the comments!