You are here
Home > General >
Joel Wagner
Joel Wagner (<strong><a href="">@sywtt</a></strong>) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. <strong><a href="">So You Want To Teach?</a></strong> is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.

10 thoughts on “Power Teaching: A Revolutionary Teaching Style [VIDEOS]

  1. I don’t have any experience with this method. I found it a little disturbing, though. It seems to boil down to little critical thinking and a great deal of just spouting back what the teacher says. In particular, it doesn’t seem appropriate for a college philosophy course.

  2. I LOVE the 4th grade one–reading dramatically. I can see how retention will go up! I’m wondering how do I modify this for high school.

  3. We do a lot of chanting and it does help retention but the way this is being used it all seems very robotic and I wonder when working with English Language Learners if they really understand what they’re chanting. With our chants you stop and discuss vocabulary and include pictures with the chant.

  4. I can’t imagine doing this kind of stuff all the time. What strikes me about it is that they have such a quick response to the teacher’s call for attention.

    Obviously some of it could be because the camera is there, but it also shows that there has been an immense amount of effort focused on behavioral management, as well as the very obvious enjoyment that the kids are experiencing.

    Are there shortcomings with this approach? Sure there are. The same could be said about any kind of thing where we teach human beings. Us people are fallible, so any system we devise will be prone to inefficiency. But I keep going back to how much fun the students are having.

    I’ve written about how important it is for me to play at work and I see these students and teachers having a lot of fun there.

    Setting aside our “veteran blinders” for a second, can we see at least some merit in some of the techniques demonstrated in these videos?

  5. These were awesome videos! I love the excitement and the movement with all of the levels. Thanks for putting different levels on here because if there was only one, people would think it doesn’t apply to them. I hope someday to be out that way and go to one of their free training seminars.

  6. I’m rather disturbed that this approach has reached into the post-secondary level. If a prof. at my college had rolled in teaching courses this way, I would have filed a report with the Dean’s Office. But, even as I say this, given the caliber of student being admitted to college in general today, such an approach may not be too much beyond the realm of possibility.

    I do, however, see some possibilities for middle school. High school…maybe not.

  7. I think it is a bit extreme at the older levels. I think there are things to be gleaned from the approach. I think we all know deep down that this is far better than the chaos that happens in many classrooms.

    At the very least, this is a stepping stone and a beginning to getting and maintaining classroom control. When teachers finally get control over their classes, they begin to feel empowered, begin to relax more, and move into their own teaching style.

  8. Actually, these techniques are quite valid at every level. I am a Power Teacher, and train others to use this amazingly effective method.

    A couple of things to keep in mind as you see these videos:

    1) the videos are edited for length due to the ten minute restrictions on YouTube and TeacherTube.

    2) What you are seeing is the very beginning levels intended to introduce you to the most basic concepts only. As you progress you can use the techniques with higher level thinking skills quite easily. They are an introduction with the idea that the professional teacher can adapt these as they master the basics and incorporate more advanced techniques.

    3) These basic techniques are used at the beginning of a chapter or unit of study to introduce concepts in common for all students. If you are not all using the same definitions then no one will understand what is going on.

    4) As you and the students advance the students will be doing more of the talking and teaching than you will. Those who teach learn more than those who listen.

    5) I use these methods teaching 8th grade science, and with equal effect teaching college history classes as an adjunct instructor. My college classes enjoy it immensely, and report dramatically increased retention of concepts.

    Power Teaching teaches the way your brain is wired to learn. The classroom management system is fun for you and the kids. They do more of the management end than you do. I do not fuss at my kids if they are talking out of turn. My kids stop the others from doing it, and do so without being insulting, and do it cooperatively.

    6) I integrate traditional methods with Power Teaching methods all the time.

    More Questions? Feel free to contact me. Remember, what you see on the videos is only the beginning, only the first stages.

  9. Powerteaching is a technique I will now read up on and try out myself. It is a really interesting engaging activity to introduce a topic which captures students interests and engages them right from the start.

    It does appear chaotic but it caters for all the learning types, visual, kinestetic and auditory as the gestures evoke movement and explanation. I think all students would love this method because it is so active they can make some noise but it is productive for learning.

    I do wonder however as it is pairs orientated how do you cater for an odd number of children since it relies heavily on pairs work? and on the same vein what about children who have social problems and don’t really work well with anyone in class how do you cater for this?

    I saw questioning as a form of assessment, asking students to relay the information to the teacher and the teacher asking questions are there any other ways you can assess student learning from this technique? or could you use powerteaching as an assessment tool?

    Just some questions I thought I would throw out there. Great technique hope to use it in the future!!

  10. I use the power teaching method in my high school English class. We utilize a lot of higher thinking. I give students options. If they want to work alone, I let them. If there is an odd number, I allow for larger groups. I stop frequently (every page of reading) and we either build a summary, explain the usage of a literary term, analyze the text in groups then discuss as a class (one student claps after they are done and tells another student who is raising their hand to go, that student adds to what the previous student said, debates it, or presents a new perspective). The class is on task every second because a response is required from them. We switch, we mirror, we debate, explain.

    One post said it looked like chaos. In fact, this is probably the most organized strategy I've ever used teaching. High school kids just don't learn as well in quite rooms. Some of the videos demonstrate a "banking method" of teaching, but this is easily adaptable for Bloom's.

Comments are closed.