Be Positive: The Effects of Teacher-Student Relationships

Standard

img_0755

I just finished reading this chapter from the book, 10 Mindframes for Visible Learning: Teaching for Success, and want to make a few notes and reflect upon some of the key ideas.

  • The chapter’s main message: Learning requires positive relationships — whether between learners and teachers, or between learners and their peers.

These are the 3 major factors to developing positive relationships:

  1. teacher expectations
  2. teacher-student relationships
  3. reducing anxiety

“Keep in mind that everyone is capable of learning, even in  situations that seem hopeless.”

  • Students perform better in classrooms where teachers create “a sense of fairness, predictability, and thus safety to be engaged in learning, with all the related notions of making errors, seeking help, and working positively with others.”
  • Teachers can reduce student anxiety  by “creating conditions where it is OK to make mistakes in front of others, to actively explore other ideas and critique them, and to learn from others.”

walking-emoji

A smile is contagious.

“Just as a smile sends out positive signals about relationship building, a failure to smile sends out negative signals. Teachers who walk into the classroom grumpy should not be surprised that their students never laugh and are more inclined to be grumpy also…”

Rules and procedures and keeping your word also create stability and reduce anxiety in students.

Overall, the following is an important takeaway about the power of teacher-student relationships. (Teacher-student relationship: effect size of 0.72)

“When students do not know what to do next, when they make mistakes, or when they are confused, the power of the trust developed by the teacher and among peers can then really pay off.”

Advertisements

Develop Potential: The Inner Game

Standard

Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance. It’s helping them to learn rather than teaching them.” -Tim Gallwey

 

Develop your potential, improve learning and enjoyment with

  • focus
  • relaxed concentration

and by

  • overcoming doubt
  • overcoming fear
  • being conscious.

What is The Inner Game?

In every human endeavor there are two arenas of engagement: the outer and the inner. The outer game is played on an external arena to overcome external obstacles to reach an external goal. The inner game takes place within the mind of the player and is played against such obstacles as fear, self-doubt, lapses in focus, and limiting concepts or assumptions.The Inner Game is a proven method to overcome the self-imposed obstacles that prevent an individual or team from accessing their full potential. Learn more at theinnergame.com .

As a coach, teacher or leader who is driven by a desire to improve learning and performance, how might you incorporate these principles into your professional practice with your coachees, students or team?

Rethink | Rebuild | Renew

Standard

Rethink

If you could find an inexpensive and healthy way to improve the lack of learning engagement, focused study and positive social interactions in your classroom and school, would you use it?

The good news is there is something out there that will improve learning, attitudes and social-emotional issues. It’s not a pill. It’s not an app for your phone. It’s not a new book of strategies from the latest education guru.

What is it?!

It’s a combination of EXERCISE, EATING nutritious foods and APPLYING the wisdom of God’s Word.

To increase brain capacity, focus and memory, we all need exercise and healthy food. Neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki discovered just how important exercise is not only to physical health but for achieving a healthy mind.

“…to celebrate her birthday, she booked an adventure trip that forced her to wake up to a startling reality: despite her professional success, she was overweight, lonely, and tired and knew that her life had to change. Wendy started simply—by going to an exercise class.

Eventually, she noticed an improvement in her memory, her energy levels, and her ability to work quickly and move from task to task easily. Not only did Wendy begin to get fit, but she also became sharper, had more energy, and her memory improved. Being a neuroscientist, she wanted to know why.” –  http://www.wendysuzuki.com/the-book/

 

How well are you feeding your brain?  Yes, What You Eat Affects Your Brain – Huffington Post

How well are you applying God’s Word each day?

“…Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about. Keep putting into practice all you learned from me and saw me doing, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9 (TLB)

Rebuild

I’m an avid fan of criminal investigation shows and documentaries exploring the minds of violent criminals. Recently, I stumbled across the video by Dr. Suzuki after watching the video below entitled Violent Minds. Notice the areas of the brain which light up on the scans (most notably the prefrontal cortex)  –  normal brains compared to those brains which have a propensity toward violence.

The violent minds video is around 50 minutes long so fast forward it and watch minutes 17:34 – 21:02 which highlights what has been discovered from studying the scans of impulsive individuals who often have ADHD.

Today, I found this research from Professor Jim Fallon. You may be like me and wondering how and why criminal behavior starts? Does it start in the mind or soul? Is it a matter of good vs. evil? Is it nature or nurture? Watch this…

Since the minds of impulsive criminals (not the organized and calculating minds of psychopaths) do not properly activate certain areas of the brain and exercise promotes activity in those parts of the brain, shouldn’t exercise play a major role in rehabilitation, mental health programs as well as teaching and learning?

What is the best way to use exercise throughout the school day? How might exercise and social-emotional learning be embedded across classrooms in an effort to improve mental health? What do teachers need to know about social-emotional learning in order to implement best practices in their classrooms?

How might you rely on God’s grace to rebuild your mind and your life each day? How might this help you to support your students?

You will be rebuilt.” –  Blog post which highlights Jer. 31:4 where God promises to rebuild our ruins – Joni Eareckson Tada at Joni and Friends

Renew

In no way do I want to oversimplify issues of learning or social-emotional and mental health. But in a day and age in which teacher workdays begin with preparedness training for what to do in the event of an armed intruder, social-emotional health has to be of upmost importance in schools and classrooms. It’s critical that educators notice the signs which indicate a student may be hurting emotionally or may be mentally unstable. We must do all that we can to support not only the mastery of academic standards but to support the CHILD.

Today’s education landscape is vast and complicated and educators face challenges unlike any before. I believe it’s time for each of us to reboot and reconnect:

  1. do more by doing less (do only what matters most)
  2. connect offline more than online (spend more time with people than with their social media profiles)
  3. exercise
  4. eat right (buy local; grow or raise your own food)
  5. be kind and loving
  6. connect to Father God daily

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:2 (KJV)

Photo Credit: flickr

Talk to Think?

Standard

A few days ago, if you had told me that talking can lead to thinking I would have said, “Uh, no. That’s stupid to believe that talking would promote thinking. Talking gets in the way of thinking! You need to be quiet to really think deeply.”

Uh, no. I’m wrong. Well, partially wrong.

Yes, there are times that thinking requires quiet contemplation but there is brain research showing that talking through an issue or problem with someone, who is asking you the right questions and giving you space to think, activates more of the brain than thinking alone.

“Talking about an issue activates more parts of the brain than just thinking about the issue. When people speak about their thinking, it increases the speed of learning, as well as the ability to apply the learning” (Rock, 2009).

97597740_a3c7e1b2a4_m

Shut the front door!

Photo Credit: flickr

This week, I attended days five and six of Cognitive Coaching (CC) Training and this is where I had my revelation about talking to think.

Let me back up here and give you some insight into the CC training. I have to say that in January on days one and two I knew CC was going to be a good way to coach others and would definitely challenge me to use skills that were underdeveloped. On days three and four, which took place in February, I was pretty sure I was not going to be able to do this. But, by the time days five and six rolled around this week I had studied my handbook, practiced CC, had recorded video of myself engaged in CC with a teacher, viewed my video several times so I felt like I just might be able to do this.

My really big Aha! moment (cognitive shift) happened during a practice session with one of the other participants in the training. She and I practiced by taking turns presenting a small life issue for which we were currently grappling and unable to make a decision.

As I coached her, it was so powerful watching her figure out the answer to her dilemma. After she introduced the issue, I paraphrased her statements to ensure I understood her and once I was clear about her statements, I could pose questions to generate more thinking.

Her answers came as I posed questions and left ownership with her – not as I told her what to do or gave her examples of what I would do. As she coached me, the same thing happened. The answers and my action plan for what to do next evolved with each question she asked and during the moments I talked about the details.

I’m blown away by the power of questioning and being quiet so the other person can think and talk out the answers to their own problems. This is SO foreign to my personality and the way I typically operate. I am very action oriented, impatient and anxious to get things resolved so it’s a huge test for me to actively listen and respectfully be quiet and patient as the other person finds their way through their own thoughts. (Translation: I tend to be extremely bossy and confident that I know the answers for you – just let me tell you what to do.)

On the other hand, it’s extremely freeing! As the coach, I don’t have to carry the weight of having to know or find all the answers. My job is to relax in the fact that, with the right support, others can draw their own conclusions and come to their own realizations without me dictating it to them. I can trust in the journey each coachee is going through and that they too will have an Aha! moment.

Now, I feel like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. You could have told me all these things about the power of CC – the power of listening, the power of higher-order thinking questions and the power of talking – but I wouldn’t have believed you. I had to learn it for myself.

 

Cognitive Coaching is challenging to implement. But, just like anything else, I can do it by starting small.

“It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” – John Wooden


469781681_3bef9863b5_m

I am really excited to continue practicing CC and anytime I have an issue to sort out I want someone to coach me! So, fair warning to my friends, family and colleagues – I’m coming to coach you. And, to my peers who are CC trained, I’m coming to be coached. 🙂

Photo Credit: flickr

See Them, Know Them

Standard

The Power of Being Seen

This Edutopia article showcases how one school has made academic gains by increasing their attention to the social and emotional needs of their students.

“I want to find out what their interests are, and that kind of opens the door. Then that moves to, ‘What challenges are you currently facing?’” Ewald said. “We are developing trust and loyalty, and then students are no longer a piece of data, but a real human being.”

I work in a high school and I think the social and emotional needs of our students are paramount to creating an environment where kids are successful academically and in other areas as well.

How many kids walk into their school on a daily basis and blend in and rarely have a meaningful conversation with an adult in the building? How many would love to be seen and known by the adults who are with them the most? How many would love to have their voice heard and honored by teachers, principals and other school staff? How many of them never get that recognition and celebration of who they are?

“Two big reasons students leave school are that they have no meaningful connection to an adult in the building, and no one knows their name or how to pronounce it,” said Trish Shaffer, the district’s SEL coordinator. “This SEL work isn’t just feel-good: We know through research that relationships and connections keep kids in school.”

Schools are supposed to be for ALL kids. Is your school? Is your classroom? Are you?

Photo Credit: Flickr

Build Positive Relationships 

Standard

So excited that my latest Amazon purchase was delivered this week! Can’t wait to read it. Below I’ve included a few tidbits about the power of the teacher-student relationship which has a high effect size of 0.72. 


In 10 Mindframes for Visible Learning, Hattie and Zierer outline “powerful mindframes, which should underpin every action in schools.”

“… teachers are evaluators, change agents, learning experts, and seekers of feedback who are constantly engaged with dialogue and challenge.”


In order to make the greatest impact, teachers need to create “a sense of fairness, predictability, and thus safety to be engaged in learning, with all the related notions of making errors, seeking help, and working positively with others.”