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Tuesday, October 22, 2013


The following comes from the book "You Haven't Taught Until They Have Learned" by Swen Nater.  Swen was a player at UCLA during the John Wooden years and in this book he speaks of Coach Wooden's teaching principles and practices.  None are more important, in my opinion, than the taking the time and energy to learn your students.  It's not just what you know, it's you ability to understand the students so you can best figure out how to maximize the teaching/learning experience.

Coach Wooden: "They are all different.  There is no formula. I could name players, all who were spirited, but in a different way.  You can't work with them exactly the same way.  You've to study and analyze each individual and find out what makes them tick.  Some you may have to put on the bench more.  I wish there was a formula.  The same thing won't work with every team.  It depends on the personnel.  The same thing was true in my English classes.  So you have to know the individuals you are working with."

Swen Nater: "How Coach Wooden managed to keep me focused on learning and progressing reveals important principles and practices that every teacher can use.  These include:

Setting challenging expectations matched to each individual's ability and personality.

Getting to know each individual well enough to comprehend what each was capable of achieving.

Truly caring about each as an individual person.

Tailoring instruction and support to individual differences.

Treating everyone with respect and fairness.