. Prior to doing a task, have students identify what strategies they will use to be successful. Collect them on charts. Post and add to these charts as time and tasks go on.
9. When students succeed, ask them to identify what accounted for their success, and hold them account- able for figuring out how their effort played a role.
10. Saturate your environment with efficacy mes- sages.
11. Have students use the effort and achievement rubric in Exhibit 14.3 to score themselves and track the relationship between their effort and achievement.
12. When a student says, “This is easy,” you reply, “It wasn’t always easy. What did you do to get smart at it?”
13. Have students visualize the actual physical moves (follow guidelines of mental imagery) for arranging time and place for effective practice or study.
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Coda The Expectations area of performance is an example of the way in which teaching is more a calling than a job. If successful teaching involves getting students to be believers in themselves, then that is a way in which this business resembles the clergy more than a craft. The thrust of this whole chapter is that we need to behave as if we believe that all students can learn rigorous material at high standards.
Different though we each may be in our genetic endowment, if we could all do the incredibly complicated analytical task of learning to speak and communi- cate by age three, then we all have enough intelligence to do academic material well—that is, if we exert enough effective effort. The key word here is effective. Just exerting more effort—harder or longer—is no guarantee of success for a struggling student.
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CHAPTER QUICK GUIDE
STRAND 1: What You Expect Is What You Get
Four Kinds of Standards:
1. Quality and quantity of work 2. Work habits and procedures 3. Business and housekeeping routines 4. Interpersonal behavior
Eleven Ways to Communicate Standards: (1) Direct Communication, (2) Specific Communication, (3) Repeated Communication, (4) Positive Expectancy, (5) Modeled, (6) Personal Contact, (7) No Excuses, (8) Recognizing Superior Performance or Significant Gains Over Past Performance, (9) Logi- cal Consequences for Poor Performance, (10) Tenacity, and (11) Feedback.
STRAND 2: Growth Mindset—Effort-Based Ability or Incrementalist Theory
• “Smart is not something you are; smart is something you get (incrementally) by working hard and working smart” (Jeff Howard, The Efficacy Institute).
• The three critical messages: “This is important. You can do it. I’m not going to give up on you.”
• Attribution Theory and Attribution Retraining
STRAND 3: The Behaviors of High Expectations Teaching
The 10 Arenas of Classroom Life:
1. Calling on Students 2. Responding to Students’ Answers 3. Giving Help 4. Changing Attitude Toward Errors—Persevere and Return 5. Giving and Negotiating Tasks and Assignments 6. Giving Feedback According to Criteria for Success 7. Positive Framing for Reteaching 8. Tenacity 9. Grades, Retakes, and Redos 10. Grouping
To check your knowledge about Expectations, see the exercises on The Skillful Teacher website at www.RBTeach.com/TST7.
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Personal Relationship Building
In his “Bearhug” poem, Ondaaje describes how his child from the bed- room has been calling him for a goodnight kiss. The father yells, “Okay, I’m coming.” But he was finishing something and then does this and that before he finally responds to the child’s calling. As Ondaatje slowly walks through the bedroom door he sees his little boy: “He is standing arms outstretched waiting for a bearhug. Grinning.” Ondaatje gives a marvel- ous poetic description of the way a parent hugs a child. But then, almost as an after-thought, two short lines end the poem: “How long was he standing there like that, before I came?” (van Manen, 1991, p. 104)
All our children are standing there, not so obviously with their arms out- stretched, waiting to be hugged. Do we see them? The long reach and powerful grasp of caring relationships in schools is well documented in close to sev- enty years of education research (Ancess, 2003). Consistent research suggests a strong association between student-adult relationships and student reten- tion, achievement, graduation, and aspirations, especially in an urban context (Stanton-Salazar, 2001; Valenzuela, 1999). Emotional bonds with adults serve as a foundation for the development of intellectual and social competence in students (Newmann, 1993). This chapter addresses “caring relationships” in the classroom (Velasques, West, Graham, & Osguthorpe, 2013). One way students conclude teachers care about them is if the teachers are seen to be working hard to make sure they can learn.
You can tell the difference between a fake teacher and a real teacher. The real teachers want to get inside of how you’re doing something, so maybe next year they can do it differently. A real teacher, he’s someone who works the day shift teaching you, and taking the information he gets from you and going back on his lesson plan or the lesson plan he gets here from the school, he will take what they give him and change it up to what he thinks from what he got from his students will match how they learn. You’re still getting what you need of all the elements in that class, but he’s teaching it a whole different way. If the principal came in and said, “OK, what’s this? We didn’t give you that!” He’d say, “My kids will learn better if I did it this way.” (Interview conducted by A. Platt, 2002 )
Motivation Personal Relationship Building
Video: No Child Left Unknown
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So you show you care about my learning by going out of your way to reshape a lesson that didn’t work the first time. You are also willing to take me aside and reteach materials and to make extra help readily available, and do so in a way that expresses belief in me (see Framing Reteaching in Chapter 14, “Expec- tations”). In Chapter 14, “Expectations,” we provide an extensive view of tenac- ity: the persistence with which you will pursue me, do not accept poor work, express confidence in me, and push me to learn. Conflict and tension may arise between student and parent demands and what the teacher deems best for the student (Goldstein, 1998), but the teacher will not lower his or her expectations. About these teachers students often later say, “I could run, but I couldn’t hide.”
Personal relationship building complements hard work and insistence on qual- ity production from students. As one Latina student stated about her teacher, “She [the teacher] tries to help me. Whenever I don’t get something she tries to help me by reteaching the lesson.” Another Latino student stated, “She asks if we need help” (Garza, 2009). Together, they result in what the literature calls “caring.” But one also notes that “academic opportunities were balanced with relational experiences” (Velasques, West, Graham, & Osguthorpe, 2013).
HOW GOOD PERSONAL RELATIONS CONNECT TO STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT
Why is it that good personal relations are connected to student achievement? What do teachers do to create these relationships? What are the repertoires for developing and maintaining positive teacher-student relationships?
Geneva Gay (2000) writes:
I think interpersonal relations have a tremendous impact on the quality of teaching and learning. Students perform much better in environments where they feel comfortable and valued. Therefore, I work hard at creating a classroom environment and ambiance of warmth, support, caring, dig- nity, and informality. Yet, these psycho-emotional factors do not distract from the fact that my classes are very demanding intellectually. Students are expected to work hard and at high levels of quality. (p. 197)
Judith Kleinfeld (1975) coined the term “warm-demander” to describe the per- son Gay pictures. “Warm” without the “demanding” is problematic. “Demand- ing” without the “warm” is as well (Rivera-McCutchen, 2012). A teacher who invests time and energy in building relationships with students signals to them that they are respected and valued as worthwhile individuals, which most often results in students’ liking and respecting their teacher. In turn, students will par-
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ticipate and contribute positively to the classroom climate, and they will be less likely to buck the program or become discipline problems.
In the face of positive relationships, students more readily accept rules, pro- cedures, and disciplinary actions that follow violations of the rules (Marzano, 2003). Students who have neutral or negative relationships with their teachers are less inhibited from misbehavior and more likely to disengage. In one study of how ethnically diverse high school students, who have experienced disciplin- ary problems, explain the causes of conflicts with their teachers, Sheets and Gay (1996) note that “the causes of many classroom behaviors labeled and punished as rule infractions are, in fact, problems of students and teachers relating to each other interpersonally” (pp. 86–87). Positive relationships contribute to a class- room climate where there is greater energy available for and devoted to learning.
Adolescents are ready to work and achieve when they know that people care about them, that what they’re learning matters, and that they pos- sess the skills necessary to meet a given challenge. . . . Effective middle school teachers . . . recognize that if they do not meet their students’ social and emotional needs, they will waste their content area expertise. Students simply will not achieve academically when their affective needs go unaddressed. (Daniels, 2005, p. 52)