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Teach Like a Champion 2.0 Book Review

William Pomfret

National University

September 4, 2019


Teach Like a Champion 2.0 is a textbook that was given to me during my new teacher

orientation for San Bernardino City Unified School District. It was written by Doug Lemov,

Joaquin Hernandez, and Jennifer Kim. Its purpose is to provide “practical guidance and hands-

on activities designed to help teachers implement, customize, and master 62 experience-based

techniques for students’ success in the classroom” (Lemov). Essentially the book is a how-to-

guide to building positive relationships in the classroom through strong classroom management

and engaging lessons in order to increase student learning and understanding.


Book Review

Teach Like a Champion 2.0, written by Doug Lemov, Joaquin Hernandez, and Jennifer Kim.

Published in 2016/

 What do you think, overall? What is your rating?

This book was so well-written and easy to follow. Like most education textbooks, the teacher

jargon can get a little heavy and make the book hard to comprehend and tough to get through.

However, this book was written in a way that allows the reader to follow along and even

provides specific areas in the book for the reader to make notes and fill in boxes to provide

themselves with context after reading. It allows the reader to not only read the book but also to

interact with what they are reading. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone in the

teaching profession that wishes to improve their abilities and discover new strategies for teaching


 Were there any takeaways for your professional practice?

The idea I most enjoyed reading and learning about was the idea of tracking vs. watching

students complete their work. We all fall into the trap from time to time. We watch students

completing their work, and they are breezing along through the material. Everything seems to be

going well so you move on quickly to the next topic. However, when the test time comes, the

students are unsuccessful on the test, and we realize that even though they were breezing through

their assignments, they were doing the assignments incorrectly the entire time. This is where

tracking comes in. Students should not just be observed about whether or not they are working

and completing their assignments. They should also be observed based on their progress towards

the learning goals of the lesson. In addition to stating the need for this kind of tracking, the book

also provides ideas about how to accomplish this. One idea is tracking specific errors and

success points. This involves teachers planning ahead and understanding the key points for

success and the most common errors. The teacher can then walk around and track with a

purpose because he/she is looking for specific points in the students’ work rather than trying to

track the entirety of the assignment.

 Is the book current in terms of education technology tools and instructional ideas?

This book is very current in terms of the current climate and culture of education. The strategies

emphasize teacher-student relationships and team-building. There is an emphasis on

collaborations and student conversations to further learning, which is a big emphasis across the

board in education at this time. The strategies included are in-tune with the modern-day student

and their individual needs as well as the needs of the group. There is lots of discussion about

differentiation and even how to work better with English learner students. Although the book

does not discuss technology much, specifically, the book contains a DVD that allows the reader

to watch and follow along in the book simultaneously, so that the book is interactive and visual.

These are key components to a technological lesson. So, although the book doesn’t spend much

time directly addressing the idea of technology lessons, it does encourage it through its own


 Who would find this book helpful?

The best part about this book is that there is something in there for everyone. Younger, less

experienced teachers would find it most useful, but experienced teachers could come away with

many new strategies as well. This is a perfect book for anyone in the teaching profession that

has a desire to better their strengths and improve their weaknesses. Teachers can read this book

and come away with new strategies that can instantly be implemented in their classroom without

having to drastically alter their existing lesson plans or classroom rules. The strategies are

simple ideas that can easily be adapted to match the existing class structure.

 Any suggestions to improve the content?

I enjoyed the content being in book textbook and DVD format. However, some of the content

was only in DVD format and then left room for the teacher to make notes in the book based on

what was seen on the DVD. The issue I have with this is that it makes it much more difficult to

reference what was said in the content because you have to go pull up the DVD again and find

the part you are looking for, which is much more difficult than skimming a chapter for the

passage you want. Additionally, in my own particular case, I can easily go to a room for some

quiet time, but it can be more difficult to access the DVD player due to my family using it. So

that content is either lost or cannot be accessed at the same time I am reading the accompanying

passage. So my suggestion would be to expand the book to include the information from the

DVD into the book more so that everything goes together, and it makes the DVD an optional

resource rather than a required one.

 How does this connect to one of the artifacts?

Artifact 3 relates directly to the ideas presented in the book, when the book discusses the joy

factor. The joy factor is “a technique that helps teachers bring more productive fun and

playfulness to their classroom” (Lemov 693). I have found that if students are enjoying their

work, they will work hard at it. That is why some students are expert video game players and

weak students in the classroom. It’s all in the perspective of fun and relatability. That is why it is

important to do things like the discussion questions, which allows the students to talk and

communicate freely without having to worry about getting the right answer, to infuse more fun

activities into the classroom. This leads into the next part of the book that covers this artifact,

which is the idea of habits of discussion. Habits of discussion are “discussions that occur

naturally through the deliberate actions of the teacher” (Lemov 431). The first time I introduced

class discussions, the students were quiet and less willing to communicate. After multiple

lessons of this nature, the students now talk freely and out of habit. This has improved student

engagement so much because students want to be able to participate in the conversation. They

don’t want to be the one that was not paying attention and has nothing to contribute. Lastly, the

book discusses the idea of the batch process, which is “the art of managing a conversation while

not commenting frequently” (Lemov 453). This is what occurs during the discussion question

portion of the lesson. It allows students to speak freely. They get to bounce ideas off each other,

without teacher interference. This builds their comprehension and makes them think critically

about the topic of the day. It improves their engagement by inspiring them to try to think deeply

because the teacher won’t jump in and correct you if you’re wrong. You get to formulate ideas

and test them out rather than being told what to do or how to do it.


“An important step in self-improvement is continued self-assessment” (Lemov 1). As teachers,

we are used to being in control. We stand in front of the room every day and provide the

instructions. We evaluate our students and assess them on their understanding. Sometimes that

assertiveness, confidence, and vibrato that we bring to the classroom gets in the way of our own

progress. We spend so much time analyzing student progress that we forget to focus on our own

progress. What are we doing to improve ourselves so that our students can improve along with

us? This book provided so much insight into how to improve ourselves. The best overall thing

about the book is that it points out flaws in your teaching repertoire that you did not even know

you had. This allows teachers to self-reflect and fix errors in teaching methods before they

manifest into bad habits. Overall, the book was well-written, helpful, and leaves its readers

excited to get into the classroom and try their new strategies. I would highly recommend this

book to any teachers looking to improve their teaching strategies.



Lemov, D., & Atkins, N. (2015). Teach like a champion 2.0 62 techniques that put students on

the path to college. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.