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Teach Like a Champion: 49 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College
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Teach Like a Champion: 49 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  5,129 ratings  ·  468 reviews
In this book, author Doug Lemov offers the essential tools of the teaching craft so that you can unlock the talent ond skill waiting in your students, no matter how many previous classrooms, schools, or teachers have been unsuccessful.
Paperback, 332 pages
Published April 6th 2010 by Jossey-Bass (first published January 1st 2010)
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Ah, the Charter School Camp. The Standardized Tests Are the Thing Camp. The Business/Military Style in Schools Camp. That's where TEACH LIKE A CHAMPION originates, from a guy named Doug Lemov who is invested in the Uncommon Schools, a group of inner city schools in the northeast that insist on teachers using these techniques. And though the cover says "K-12," most all of the examples cited are from elementary classrooms. Ditto the clips on the accompanying DVD. If you're a high school teacher, y ...more
Cindy Newton
Well, the good news is that I'm a champion teacher and I didn't even know it! Turns out I already knew all of the concepts, and most of the techniques, that Lemov examines in his book. Of course, I'm not a new teacher; it's not my first rodeo. It would have been a great book if I were new to the profession, so if you are, I highly recommend it. Quite a bit of it is common sense, such as keeping the students busy from bell to bell, arranging the desks so that you have proximity, and establishing ...more
Ivonne Rovira
Aug 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teaching
I wish that Doug Lemov's Teach Like a Champion had been around when I was getting my teaching degree. Most of the books that I read in my graduate courses centered on theory -- not that theory and metacognition isn't important; however, as a brand-new teacher, I could really have used a book like this one, which describes 49 actual techniques you can use to manage your classroom and to encourage attention, enthusiasm, and higher-level thinking.

As other reviewers have pointed out, Teach Like a Ch
Kelsey Mauk
Apr 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
Problematic. The techniques are very authoritarian and simplistic. The author relies on behavioralism to a demeaning degree. The video clips that came with the book showing the techniques in action, made me very uncomfortable. I'm surprised the book didn't come with a clicker trainer. ...more
Irene McHugh
Do you remember that scene at the beginning of Dead Poet's Society where Mr. Keating has the boys rip the J. Evans Pritchard scale for measuring poetry out of their textbooks?

This book and its techniques are the equivalent of Mr. Pritchard's poetry scale.

We ask whether our actions will result in learning, but this is the wrong question. The right question is whether our actions yield a return that exceeds our hurdle rate. That is, yield more learning per minute invested than does the best relia
Jul 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
I think this book is a must for pre-service teachers, but only if taught with a critical lens. The author says right off the bat that he does not consider himself a champion teacher, but he has spent countless hours in classrooms and studying tape with other researchers in order to compile what he has determined to be concrete "champion teacher" techniques.

I don't agree with everything he says (some of it reads a little ivory tower, and some of the stuff he touches on concerning race makes me r
Oct 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Lemov's conclusion is entitled, "The End is the Beginning," so let me start there.

"Yet when Ben was recently asked how he ensures that his teachers use his material, he observed that he doesn't. He manages his teachers for results and provides these techniques to get them there. They are free to use them or not. ...Too many ideas, even good ones, go bad when they become an end and not a means." (Pg. 310)

Lemov likes the word caveat. I'm going to ask someone with a Kindle version how many times th
Apr 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I recommend this book to all new teachers without exception. Experienced teachers who are having difficulty with classroom management are also encourged to read it. The techniques are explicitly detailed and most are easy to implement the very next day. Basically, the book gives specific techniques designed to create an atmosphere of respect and cooperation. I will definately get a lot of use out of it...the classroom clips are especially helpful.

Things that I especially liked: 1. How to's on h
Dec 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
My current professional development training is based entirely on this book. My first year of teaching was a nightmare. When the new administration took over and asked us to attend their training, I learned more about classroom management in those two weeks of in service than I did in both undergrad and graduate college. I'm in my second year now, and these techniques, paired with active practice, have turned me into a more confident and effective teacher. I had people observe who thought I was ...more
Aug 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book for anyone who cares about "urban education" and its attendant issues. This books aims at teaching teachers how to develop a classroom culture in which city kids, ( a population left in the ash-heap of national education), can finally make significant progress.

The book is broken up into 49 techniques chunked into several groupings, like High Academic Expectations, Lesson Structure, Classroom Culture, etc. About half the techniques have corallary video clips shown on th
Jan 26, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: education
This is a pretty good book, over all, for nitty-gritty, try-it-this-way teaching techniques. Whether you're already using them or not, the [mostly] lucid prose and examples provide food for thought for teachers who are seeking to improve their practice. There are several techniques I either want to try out for myself or work to improve on based on what I read.

That said, the book loses points for two reasons: 1) There are many parts of it that sound like ad copy for various charter schools. And c
Jun 21, 2016 rated it did not like it
I read parts of this book several years ago. I hate it. Really and truly. I've been thinking about it a lot as I read other books (For White Folks who Teach in the Hood) and articles about what real learning should be. Teach Like a Champion is the opposite of what real classrooms should look like, and I'm a little bit excited to start talking about that this coming school year. ...more
Jun 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: not-ya
This was a strongly recommended read from my administration. I read it somewhat begrudgingly but have to admit that many of the 49 techniques could be very useful. Particularly for new teachers, this book has some good, solid recommendations for how to increase student engagement. Until he gets to the section about reading. The last few chapters felt tacked on and beyond his realm of expertise. The more he discussed his strategies for teaching reading the more he seemed like someone obsessed wit ...more
Mar 01, 2019 rated it liked it
I can understand both camps in the reviews for this book. Firstly, I agree wholeheartedly with those who say they wish the book existed when they began their career. The steps (although I felt them to be out of order), have a real-world basis and outstanding for anyone at the outset of their teaching life - even for those of us who train other teachers.

I can also understand the 'teach your grandmother to suck eggs' comments. Many of these steps/techniques/strategies have been around for a long t
Brian Quick
Mar 13, 2018 rated it liked it
This books makes me think of joyless classrooms, but gets credit for having some great tips that I would like to implement. Maybe a good read for someone new to the classroom that really struggles with management, but also kind of reads like VCR instructions...cherry pick the good stuff, use what works for you. 3.5 stars.
Carla Sofia Sofia
Jun 24, 2020 rated it did not like it
If I could give this book negative stars, I would. Throw this book into the recycling bin if you've made the mistake of purchasing it and pick up a copy of Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed instead. As a teacher of four years, let me say that this is *not* how you manage a classroom if your goal is something other than reproducing whiteness and treating students like robots. ...more
Elisa Sinnett
Dec 30, 2019 rated it did not like it
Read the book and you'll get some fun tips. Read a little closer and watch the videos and you'll see it's all about controlling kids in high poverty areas, not teaching them. ...more
Jan 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Some useful stuff for a college teacher.
I'm not the target audience (I teach art at a community college), but I found some useful stuff in the first 40% of the book. (I obviously read the kindle edition.)
This is aimed at k12 teachers (mostly upper elementary). It is basically a series of tips/techniques for teachers based on studying the techniques and practices of really successful teachers (at his schools). There is also some interesting talk about why technique is important as a supplement to
Oct 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teacher-books
I really loved this book and actually began using some of the teaching practices long before I knew the history of Uncommon Schools. Life would, of course, bring me down the road where I had the opportunity to interview and explore the school and was also provided a job offer for working at these schools. Unfortunately, after viewing their rigorous, military based school day where kids weren't even allowed to talk to each other during ANY part of the day and needed to follow strips of tape down ...more
There are a few really good teaching techniques in this book. Unfortunately, they are clouded by the book's focus on younger kids--elementary and middle schoolers, to be precise. I felt that many of the techniques would not be welcome in a high school environment, and certainly not in the school where I'm student teaching. Paul Tough described one of the techniques, SLANT, best in a 2006 New York Times article; he basically said that students making use of SLANT seem to be like robots. The video ...more
Midwest Professor
Jun 11, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: garbage-edu
Doug's compliance and military type of approach didn't sit well with me. It was tough to get through to usable strategies as the author crafted a positive tone about charter schools throughout the book. It also reinforced stereotypes of young black students and teachers playing savior. Rarely were any strategies associated with caring for kids and building relationships. I wouldn't recommend this to any of my edu colleagues. ...more
Jul 11, 2013 rated it did not like it
This book has some good ideas, but overall I couldn't stand the way it was written (like the demanding nature it was written and reads). While I was reading it I felt like he was almost insulting everything I was doing wrong. I just did not like this book. ...more
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: on-education
Great read for the starting teacher. I liked that the ideas were not theoretical (ex: “You should praise students, not too much) but rather very practical (ex: “Praise student with a ‘Good job, good work’ but avoid going on and on and using the word ‘awesome.’”) Ha.

Some reviewers found this book basic (sure, he’s targeting new teachers), some found it rigid (Lemov states he is after the urban, under-performing schools where students may need more discipline and aren’t used to academic things li
Oct 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 04-nonfiction
No book about teaching is going to be perfect for everything, since no part of teaching is ever the same for everyone. That being said, I thought there were a lot of useful and thought-provoking points to be had here. Sure, Lemov writes mostly about charter schools and charter school teachers, and sure, some of the techniques sound a little fascist, but that doesn't mean that they're not worth reading and thinking about, even if only to decide that they don't ultimately work for your environment ...more
Aug 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Margie by: NYTimes
Shelves: want-to-own, academia
I was very excited by this book, because so few books on teaching have actual specific techniques that can be used across content areas and for a variety of grades. The techniques described in the book seem very do-able, useful, and effective.

There are, of course, some caveats. The champion teachers he's followed are all at urban charter schools. The parents of charter school students have bought in; they want their children to be in a learning environment. Trust me, that's a lot different from
Jul 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
It's easy to write this book as an inner-city only book or a sign of the charter school movement in America ("listen, recent college grad! All you have to do is read this book and you too will be a master teacher until you decide to leave the profession, let another recent college grad take your place, and become complicit in the de-professionalization of teachers!") but I'd rather focus on this book's content rather than the politics of how it's used.

As for content.... it's a really, really, go
Jun 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
This book is a great resource for teachers, whether new or veteran. There is not a lot of material here that is earth-shatteringly new. Rather, the magic is in the sum of its parts. Mr. Lemov gives us something special in the combination of naming each technique and showing how they all work together to push each classroom to combine maximum efficiency and maximum academic rigor. Plus, there's a free (and useful) DVD included.

One strike against this book is the poor editing. I found too many sy
Jun 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
I received this book from school as something that all members of the Building Leadership Team were supposed to read, but I didn't do anything with it until the summer. Overall, I really liked it. I think that the principles in the first half of the book are really good teaching practices. They are easy to implement and I liked that they were applicable to both math and middle school.

I was rather disappointed with the second half of the book. It was supposed to be on how every teacher could and
Oct 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I wish I had read this when I was still going through my undergrad ed program! Invaluable tools for teachers to really be successful. I really enjoyed the format too--calling them "teaching techniques" that teachers can use, and dividing it up into sections. I read the section about setting & maintaining high behavior standards first, because that is what I needed most this year with the extra special, delightful set of students that I have this year. They definitely need high behavior standards ...more
Feb 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Phenomenal book. It really breaks things down and allows you to look at your teaching style and how it benefits the students. The tips were great for even things I consider to be a forte of mine. It is really challenging the reader to ask why we do the things we do in the classroom. Just by reading the e amples and explanations I can see perfectly how these tasks will completely transform my teaching.

The organization of the book is great by doing smaller decals of the tips after you read intensi
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Doug Lemov is an American educator and author. He is currently Managing Director of Uncommon Schools, a non-profit charter management organisation that manages 42 charter schools across New York, New Jersey and Boston.

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