What’s The One Thing Will They Remember From Your Class?

by Terry Heick

Try as you might, your students aren’t going to remember everything from your class. In fact, they probably won’t remember much at all, no matter how good you are at what you do.

And this assumes that simply remembering—hazily recalling certain ideas, facts, or projects—is your goal. If you’re looking for something close to actually understanding—self-initiated transfer to new and unfamiliar situations—then that list will be even shorter.

How about new behaviors and habits?

Personal change?

In all of the focus on process and improvement, it’s easy to forget that there is a function of knowledge–a human output derived from injected understandings, skills, and competencies.

Put another way, there is a reason to learn. A purpose. Knowledge is the most modern of currencies that itself can be exchanged endlessly without diminishing itself. Without that reason, education becomes a self-justifying expression of policies and procedures.

It’s at this point that we could talk about critical abstractions—how you made them feel, discoveries they made about themselves, or networks and technologies that they discovered under your guidance.

We could talk about power standards, big ideas, enduring understandings, the utility of modern curriculum, and how useful academic standards like those found in the Common Core really are, but I thought I’d turn it over to you this time to hear your ideas.

A concept? A rule? Some abstract lesson? A notable project?

Or simply how you made them feel?

Before you answer, you may want to read Applying The 40/40/40 Rule In Your Classroom as a decent primer to respond. In short, 16 years from now when they see you in the supermarket, what do you want them to remember?

Would love to hear your ideas on twitter or in the comments below.

What Will They Remember From Your Class?; image attribution flickr user cheriejoyful; What’s The One Thing They’ll Remember From Their Time With You?