Critical Thinking as the Key to Classroom Management
*VIDEO NOT AVAILABLE FOR THIS SESSION*
Every educator has “that” student. That brilliant student who is a born leader, innovator, and amazing problem solver that also happens to be a frequent flier in disciplinary referrals, detentions, and the principal’s office. But when we think about the type of teacher-driven, content-heavy instruction students are typically getting (especially during testing season), it should be no surprise that bright and high-energy students sometimes struggle with behavioral issues and pose challenges to effective classroom management. Deeper learning activities that involve engaging and rigorous critical thinking should be the first tool educators grab from their educational toolbox to improve classroom management. We will discuss powerful, but practical strategies that leverage critical thinking instruction as a proactive classroom management tool for some of the most common disruptive student behaviors.
Colin Seale not only taught “that kid” during his time in the classroom. Colin was “that kid” growing up. Colin has dedicated his life to ensuring that all children have the opportunity to obtain an excellent education, regardless of where they live and who they were born to. This passion led Colin to Teach for America, where he taught secondary math in Washington, D.C. after obtaining his B.S. in Computer Science and minor in African American Studies at Syracuse University. Experiencing firsthand how issues of poverty impact our youth’s ability to achieve academically, Colin returned to Syracuse University to earn his Master’s in Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Administration. But after serving as a Management Analyst at Clark County’s Department of Family Services, Colin realized that effective management was never going to be enough when the laws that led to systematic inequality remained constant. This led Colin back to the classroom at the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy and motivated him to enroll in law school part-time at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Colin graduated magna cum laude, externed with the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, and represented youth in the Juvenile Justice Clinic. Colin’s commitment to service continued as a corporate attorney at Greenberg Traurig, where he clocked hundreds of pro bono hours through the Children’s Attorney Project in addition to his service as Board Chair for the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth and as President of the Charter School Association of Nevada, where he leads the effort to support school leaders and educators by designing large-scale professional development conferences and creating systems to share best practices statewide. To change the narrative on who gets to teach and who gets to learn critical thinking, Colin launched thinkLaw, a standards-aligned program that helps teach critical thinking to all students. For thinkLaw’s work in ensuring that critical thinking is no longer a luxury good, thinkLaw has been honored as a recipient of the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada’s Community Juvenile Justice Award, the National Bar Association of Las Vegas’ Community Service Award, the 1st Prize and People’s Choice Award for the Nevada Governor’s Business Summit Pitch Competition, the African-American Trailblazer, Peacekeepers Educator Award from the City of Las Vegas, and the winner of the Teach for America 25th Anniversary Shark Tank: One Day Pitch competition.