See One, Do One, Teach One

The phrase “see one, do one, teach one” is often used for medical personnel, particularly trainees focused in surgical areas. The phrase reflects a method of teaching in which a surgical student will observe a procedure, perform the procedure on their own, and then teach another trainee how to conduct the procedure.

See one, do one, teach one

I often adapt this method to lessons and services (particularly with older students) in the library. This year, we have adopted a theme song. It’s an old Hip Hop song by Weebie that was popular when I began my teaching career.

I-n-d-e-p-e-n-d-e-n-t do you know what that mean mayne?
I-n-d-e-p-e-n-d-e-n-t do you know what that mean?

Teaching with the See One, Do One, Teach One approach allows me to instruct the students, yet create independent learners at the same time. Students are aware that they will need to be able to perform the task independently. This has created a culture of critical listeners with my students.

For instance, third-grade students receive their first Google Suite account. The first few days using the account we will model then assist them in logging in. We then progress to the student logging in independently. Later, students will be responsible for troubleshooting log-in problems and teach another student how to log in.

I began the school year for third graders by reading Our Librarian Won’t Tell Us Anything by Toni Buzzeo. In the book, Robert asks the library to show him where a book about animals is located. She points him to the online card catalog and walks him through the steps to choose a book and find it according to the call number. A classmate, Carmen, repeats that their library “won’t tell us anything.” The scenarios change throughout the story. By the end, Robert has become a “library success story” by becoming independent in the library. His librarian, Mrs. Skorupski, used the see one, do one, teach one model. Robert is able to show a new student to the library and teach her how to utilize its services.

The blurb as found on Goodreads:

According to Carmen, a fourth-grader, her school’s librarian won’t tell students anything. Fortunately, her classmate Robert doesn’t believe Carmen. When he asks Mrs. Skorupski question after question, she leads Robert to the tools he needs to find the answers, and he becomes a Library Success Story. The book’s engaging text and fun illustrations will have your students clamoring to become Library Success Stories, too.

To encourage students to be independent by seeing one, doing one, and teaching one, I have created a Library Success Story certificate. I will continue to observe students and encourage them to use what the skills they have learned to become independent library users. I stress to our learners that becoming independent will help to make them productive members of our community.

Library Success Story Certificate

How do you encourage learners to become independent in the library?



Author: Ashley Cooksey

Library Media Specialist in Arkansas. Self-proclaimed geek. Lover of nature and music. Always learning.

Categories: Blog Topics, Student Engagement/ Teaching Models

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