Let's do a 'We Do'

Photo by Flickr user Valerie Everett There is a common framework teachers use to teach new skills or content to elementary and secondary-school students. It's called the Gradual Release of Responsibility. It can be explained quite simply as: "I Do, We Do, You Do".

"I Do" is when the teacher models something for the students and does it alone.

"We Do" is when the students and teacher do something together.

"You Do" is when the students do something independently.

I have noticed in my new role as a Stanford d.school fellow -- and in my adult life generally -- that most of my learning goes from "I Do" to "You Do". It skips the "We Do" stage completely or often starts and ends with the "You Do", leaving out any modeling or guided practice.

The "We Do", though, is where you get your hand held. It's where you get to make mistakes and have someone catch you just before you hit the pavement and splatter.  It's a step-by-step support system that creates mini successes, providing real-time validation and a sense of comfort that doesn't come in either of the other two modes.

I say it's time for a "We Do" comeback!

Writing blogs is something I have never done before. This is actually my first one ever! Though I love sharing my work with others, I have never had time or the technological know-how to blog.  Also,  I have reservations about putting my ideas in writing because they change so often, and I fear committing to any ideas for longer than a 24-hour period.  So, when our editor-in-residence, Emi Kolawole, came to me asking for my blog post again, after many weeks of asking, I asked her for a "We Do."  I wanted her to hold my hand, literally, and walk me through the blog-writing process, side-by-side and support me each step of the way.  And she did!

After our "We Do", I felt so much better -- I really did!  I felt safe, inspired, and tended to.  So, here I am, writing my first blog!

Now, I want to know, where could you use a "We Do" in your life, either now or in the past?  Send me your thoughts.  Better yet, ask for that "We Do" and send me a picture of your "We Do" in action!

Everyone needs a "We Do" now and then, right? Right. So, let's start a "We Do" movement.