You Deliver Pizzas. Not Instruction [SLIDE]

I was feeling a bit creative tonight, so I whipped up a slide based on a Chris Lehmann quote that David Jakes introduced me to at Educon:

(download slide and view original image credit on Flickr here)


So whaddya’ think?  Are you bothered by the notion of “delivering instruction?” 

What does it suggest about teachers and classrooms and learners when “delivering instruction” becomes a commonly accepted phrase describing the work that we do in schools?  What words or phrases would describe the work that we do with students if we were getting education right?

Talk amongst yourselves.  I’m verklempt.  

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  • BillIvey


    I did once deliver for Superior Pizza in my home town, and as a brand new high school graduate, driving around town in a ’71 Beetle evenings with the radio blasting and the windows rolled down was a darn good summer job.

    I’ve also delivered instruction, for a university in France while on an exchange Teaching Assistant program, and found that job decent for where I was in my career. I had just received my M.A.T., and felt I could have been left more to my own devices, but recognized most of the exchange TAs were not in teaching programs, few had received their degrees, and standardizing instruction for a constantly changing team of one-year appointments made sense. I did love the six “your lesson here” days they left open. 🙂

    That said… I would be insulted to be told I was “delivering instruction” now. “Delivering” has tinges of “created somewhere and passed on from one person to another” that drive me crazy. “Instruction” overfocuses on the teacher and completely ignores student agency. I would go with “enabling learning” as an alternative phrase. That, I do. On a good day, anyway!

  • MarciaPowell

    Use your teacher skills!


    You are exactly right.  Enabling learning requires teacher skills, not canned curriculum that has been teacher-proofed.  Love this slide, and your vision.


    I saw it as teacher skills in a blog I wrote today….Teacher skills:  flexibility, adaptability, working with others, respecting students, honoring the potential of all students to learn, making sure there is more than ONE right way, and understanding where to find resources that can help.

    Fountain of all knowledge? Omnipotent?  Not even worth worrying about..

  • JohnVisel

    If the term delivering

    If the term delivering instruction is being thrown around, there’s probably a reason.  Many teachers *are* simply deliverers of instruction.  I think novice teachers tend to deliver instruction while developed teachers create a space in which students learn. My student teachers and practicum students deliver instruction, because that’s their developmental level, ability level, and perception of teaching.  Their teacher radar–the ability to focus not only on instruction, but student behavior, reactions, and progress is very small.

    It also has to do with personality type.  Teachers who are not comfortable letting go of the reins tend to deliver instruction.  There’s a “How comfortable in your teacher skin are you” factor.  All of this probably adds up to a public who thinks teaching = delivering instruction.