Hot Tips & Topics

We are dedicated to providing you with a comprehensive collection of relevant and up-to-date K-12 education news and editorials. For teachers, by teachers.

How Great Teachers Are Masters of Inception

Tom DeRosa

 

How Great Teachers Are Masters of InceptionIf you haven’t seen Inception, I won’t spoil it for you, but it revolves around a simple question: Is it possible to place an idea in someone’s head, so that they believe they came up with it themselves? This process is called inception.

 

In the film’s opening moments, Leonardo DiCaprio’s character explains that an idea is more powerful and virulent than the nastiest virus—once it’s in your head, it’s almost impossible to get out. True enough. Yet all the characters also work off the premise that inception is difficult, if not impossible, to accomplish. I disagree: great teachers master this skill and use it from the first day of school.


Related Articles
Open book that is turning into a laptop with various icons coming out of the screen.
More and more teachers every day are having to move to online learning. Explore...
Stethoscope in the shape of a heart surround ‘April 7’ and ‘World Health Day.’
With the ongoing global health pandemic, teaching students about health is as...
The word ‘maker’ surrounded by tools, wires, and more.
Engage your students and get them excited about learning with Maker Education....
Young boy sitting at a desk in a classroom writing in a journal.
Self-regulation is an essential tool in any student’s toolbox if they want to...
Older students picking up recycling outside.
Climate change and sustainability are major issues today’s students are...

It's no secret that good teachers work to make the transition from providing information to providing the opportunity for students to learn on their own. When teachers become facilitators, that's when students start learning amazing things. That's inception.

 

Inception also happens when teachers set out clear expectations on the first day of school and model them consistently throughout the year. Now you might say, "but that's not the same thing. You're planting the idea and eventually they just following along." With certain things, you're right. If you tell them they should do something because you as the teacher think it's important, some students will follow suit. But make no mistake: no student will ever buy in completely if you straight up tell them something. At the risk of sounding too existential, a lot of it is just about being there.

 

I'm a believer that who you are as a person can make all the difference in what will happen in your classroom in a given year. Students observe you and other and ultimately make their own decision. If you lead them down a path to success without really trying, just by being there, that's also inception.

 

So teachers, I challenge you: can you get deep enough inside your students' minds to plant a good idea? I think you can.


Republished with permission from the author, Tom DeRosa. Find more greatinspiration and ideas for teachers on his blog.

Today's Poll

Which types of articles would you like to see from us in 2020?
Classroom Management
16%
Classroom Activities/Games
30%
Teaching Strategies
30%
Technology in the Classroom
18%
Professional Development
5%
Total votes: 164