My experiences in high school and college have led me to conclude I am capable of sitting no longer than 70 minutes in an disengaging environment. I find myself facing this challenge every Monday and on occasional Tuesday evenings as well. By saying this, I can relate and sympathize with students whom Wiggins observed while sitting for long periods of time. I find myself doing what Wiggins desires to do in class: stretch, get up and walk around, etc.
Student activity is essential for student growth, academic success and developing skills but Wiggins observed lectures where the teacher lectured for 90% of class time, only used teacher demonstrations and hardly any student activities. According to Wiggins, the "old" teaching style needs to be minimal and teachers need to use the system of facilitating student centered learning. My cooperating teacher and I use brief lectures in classroom to discuss, introduce a chapter/unit, and provide a brief overview of content before beginning or continuing an activity. We do not emphasize the extreme need for lectures but we want the students to not be shocked when they get to college and are expected listen to a professor and take notes in a 300+ student lecture hall for the entire class. They need to be able to pull out significant content from a reading excerpt, textbook, primary source document or 120 minutes of lecture.
I have observed the putting on a big show (sarcasm and eye roll) when a teacher has to repeat directions/content to a small number of students. I have seen as well as caught myself putting on a show on having to repeat content or instructions. I did not roll my eyes at students but it is showing them I do not have patience to ensure their understanding and I care more about moving on rather than making sure every student is on the same page. It sends a message that their understanding is not worth going back once or twice again and they will likely shut down and decide they no longer care how they do in class. I will avoid putting on a show and improving my level of patience and if I happen to do this, I will acknowledge myself in class and I will have a 1:1 conference to discuss my behavior and make sure it hasn't affected the student(s).
Going off on what I said last paragraph, I agree with Wiggins when he mentioned the importance of allowing students to ask questions. This practice is already helpful in the AP and Honors level but its importance is not stressed enough in mainstream College Prep and Special Ed/Sheltered classes. Students are usually not willing to ask questions but teachers need to start preparing the students to think and ask constructive questions. Teachers can include a warmup and brief lesson on asking questions and what are low level and high level questions. If the class is learning about the Civil War, the teacher can have each student think and write a question on a notecard regarding the Civil War (who, what, when, where, why, how, etc.) and the teacher will read aloud each question and students will categorize each one as a high or low level question and why. As a closure activity, have students write a high level question on the same notecard.
Wiggins, G. (2014, October 10). A veteran teacher turned coach shadows 2 students for 2 days - a sobering lesson learned. Retrieved February 23, 2015, from https://grantwiggins.wordpress.com/2014/10/10/a-veteran-teacher-turned-coach-shadows-2-students-for-2-days-a-sobering-lesson-learned/