Today I am sharing with you an article that I have found tremendously helpful over the years! It has helped me be a better teacher in my home, at church, in our co-op, and during immersion sessions. I have shared it many times when meeting with others trying to teach in a Mason paradigm. In fact, this was a very helpful article to use in one of our TBG planning meetings.
Crits is shorthand for criticism lessons. Mason would watch her student teachers give lessons and then she critiqued them. The notes shared here are chock full of wonderful tips. I first read this article in Karen Andreola‘s Parents’ Review magazine, Vol. 3, Winter, 1993-1994 and she has graciously given me permission to reprint it here. Do share with me your favorite nugget in the comments below!
There are two ways of approach: read and narrate first, then experiment; or, experiment first, then read and narrate.
A clear general idea is what we want; we can always make our own additions and corrections, noting exceptions.
Never wait too long for narration and wait expectantly.
Let the children look again and again and again at the picture.
Dull passages – sufficient animation and interest should carry the children through these and should learn at a single reading.
It is the teacher’s duty to show by her attitude that, though other religions have light, our religion has the supreme light.
We must pass on our feeling, but not our opinion…feeling kindles feeling.
Make the children see that the book is the thing. Let them get over their own stiles. (A stile is a step or set of steps for passing over a fence or wall such as they have throughout the countryside in the Lake District of England. – Ed.)
People do not do any more than they are expected to do, or know more than they are expected to know.
(The notebook describes an incident fully.)The children had given good narration of the book used during this lesson. During the criticism period, one student said that the class was ‘not given enough work to do.’ Miss Mason asked which of those who agreed with this criticism could narrate the lesson with all the dates, names, etc.? No one volunteered to try.