Mastering the Teaching Game July 17, 2014

Recently, I heard Sven Groeneveld being interviewed on my car radio. He is one of the top tennis coaches of all times, having helped four players become grand slam winners, among many other achievements. The BBC reports that the coach can “see things in the other players, read a match, second guess what the game plan would be, what a certain player was doing wrong, and crucially how he could put it right.”

My knowledge of tennis is thin, so I almost switched to another station, until I realized that Groeneveld’s message was the kind of advice that I give to my young pre-service teachers at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education — only he is more articulate and confident than I am.

There are several paraphrased points that I hope will resonate with other educators as affirmations, challenges, or both. These eight ideas synthesize what four decades in classrooms have taught me are the most important principles for teachers to understand.

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