"It's Time to be Awesome!"
Why Build Culture?
"Research has shown us that teachers' actions in their classrooms have twice the impact on student achievement as do school policies regarding curriculum, assessment, staff collegiality, and community involvement."
Marzano & Marzano, 2013
Most educators can appreciate the fact that class management and establishing a culture of high expectations, professionalism, support, and active growth are key elements in building student achievement. In order for learning to take place, the instructor must take the time to develop relationships and realize who their learners are as individuals. The important part to remember is one must also establish within students both self-reliance and self-efficacy. Teachers must guide students towards taking ownership over their own learning.
20 Tips for Promoting Self-Directed Learning
1. Make it a safe place for students to fail and grow from mistakes.
2. Encourage curiosity and creativity.
3. Give your students a voice. Teach them to debate, disagree, and give authentic feedback.
4. Use scaffolding to help students assume responsibility.
5. Foster peer support and collaboration.
6. Allow students to experience natural consequences without teacher input.
7. Build your students' confidence.
8. Model everything you expect from your students.
9. Don't impose limitations on your students. Promote a growth mindset.
10. Use real life examples of those who have overcome challenges and persevered.
11. Have students set and monitor manageable goals.
12. Teach students how to overcome disappointment.
13. Be wary of praise. Be sure to reward attitude and effort.
14. Believe in your students and their ability to succeed.
15. Accept that learning is sometimes organized chaos. It can be messy and loud.
16. Focus on reflection and metacognition.
17. Give daily feedback.
18. Assign students both long-term and short-term assessments. Keep assessments varied.
19. Collaboratively identify deficient thinking and obstacles for students and yourself.
20. Remember learning is a partnership between you and your students. You are not the only one responsible for their success!
Adapted from: "20 Tips for Self-Directed Learning" http://www.teachthought.com/learning/20-tips-to-promote-a-self-directed-classroom-culture/
Promoting a Growth Mindset
What is a Mindset?
Read the following article: Carol Dweck's "The Perils and Promises of Praise"
Strategies for Building a Growth Mindset
Here are a few strategies for building growth mindsets.
1. Start a "Power of Yet" Campaign in your building, in your collaborative team, and in your classroom! "I can't do quadratic equations .... yet; I can't score higher than a 68 on the EOC benchmark ... yet; I can't get my students to listen to me ... yet!"
2. Be clear about learning targets and what students are expected to know and do by the end of the year.
3. Integrate lessons that explicitly model and stress the development of the "16 Habits of Mind."
4. Incorporate metacognition through reflection and self-assessment.
5. Scaffold students in collaboration, discussion and debate, and how to conference.
6. Use Webb's Depth of Knowledge and Bloom's Taxonomy to promote critical thinking and in-depth questioning in your classroom.