We have hit the ground running with our first facilitations of the new school year. What better way to start off than with classroom management.
Foster Student Perseverance – Teach the Habit of Effort
We are approaching the end of the semester. Any chance you might have this experience? Students are receiving their grades for the semester. As your students are leaving your classroom you hear a couple of your students say, “I can’t believe Mr./Mrs. (insert your name) gave me a C.” In your mind you are thinking, “GAVE YOU! GAVE YOU! You earned that C or didn’t earn a B. You think of all the times you attempted to assist this student so they could “earn” a higher grade – but John wasn’t willing to try harder – wasn’t willing to persevere.
This leads to the age-old question: Can perseverance be taught? Van Overwalle & De Metsenaere, 1990, found that students who were taught about the relationship between effort and achievement increased their achievement more than students who were taught techniques for time management and comprehension of new material.
Students generally contribute their success or failure to one of four causes:
Teaching students how to link effort with achievement will lead to the skill and habit of perseverance.
Day Two (Wednesday) with the Utah Instructional Coaches was a fabulous learning experience! Our topic this day was consulting and coaching new and/or struggling teachers. We took coaches into area schools to practice doing non-evaluative observations and determining the next steps an instructional coach would take.
The big “take-aways” from my group were:
Focused and Engaged are very different things. Focused means students are sitting where they are supposed to be, looking the right direction, not bothering anyone else. Engaged means students are actually responding – I can see and/or hear them doing something – they are actively participating.
Proximity for the purposes of assessment and assistance and behavior (both redirecting off-task behavior and cueing positive behaviors) is a very powerful tool. The element that make it even more powerful is when the teacher (during proximity) is “coaching” individuals or small groups of students asking them strategic level questions.
Even super good teachers benefit from a coach – someone asking them questions to help them reflect on their own practices.
Practice makes perfect!