What Does Rigor in the Classroom Look Like?
- July 9, 2020
- Posted by: The Teachers Academy
- Category: Educator Resources / News
A rigorous classroom is one in which every student is constantly being challenged to reach his or her individual potential. That sounds pretty simple, but in practice, cultivating rigor in the classroom takes a great deal of investigation and planning — along with creativity, flexibility, and innovation — on the part of an educator.
Education expert and author Dr. Barbara Blackburn defines academic rigor as:
- Setting expectations for each student to learn at a high level;
- Offering support to each student so he or she can learn at a high level;
- Allowing each student to demonstrate high-level learning.
What does that actually look like in a classroom? Here are some examples:
- Teachers provide positive reinforcement for students, showing that they have confidence in their students’ abilities.
- Students are fully engaged in their lessons.
- Students are given a number of different ways to demonstrate their understanding of course material.
- Students demonstrate critical thinking skills and the ability to solve problems.
- Teachers ask deeper, thought-provoking questions and expect students to answer, either directly or through another form of communication, such as writing or sharing with peers.
- Students are comfortable and confident enough to ask questions when they don’t understand.
- Teachers encourage small-group collaboration, in addition to independent work.
- Teachers display students’ work in the classroom.
Teaching with rigor can be a rewarding experience for both you and your students. By holding students to high standards, while also providing a safe and supportive environment in which they can build confidence, you can help young people grow into motivated, independent, and passionate learners who aren’t afraid to take risks and make mistakes.
Here at The Teachers Academy, the go-to destination for teachers in Montgomery County to earn professional development hours, we understand the immense benefits of a rigorous classroom. If you’re wondering whether you have developed a rigorous classroom environment, you can take our quiz to find out. If you’d like to start cultivating a culture of rigor, we’ve provided some helpful suggestions in this infographic.
Devoting time to professional development this summer? Visit our extensive course catalog full of exciting opportunities for Philadelphia area teachers to earn Act 48 hours online. From everyone here at The Teachers Academy, we wish you a rigorous, yet relaxing, summer season!
PA teachers looking for online professional development can check their Act 48 Hours on the PA PERMS DOE website.
Not teaching in PA but still looking for online professional development for teachers? Check your state requirements for more information.
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