There are sooooo many factors out there which impact student achievement. There’s this guy out there named John Hattie who was able to identify 138 of them. Once he identified them, he gave them a numerical value. Anything receiving a numerical value of .4 or greater made a significant impact. I’m sure you can probably guess some of these factors.
Here are a few which come up in conversation more than others:
- A teacher’s education – Dr. Hattie gave this a .41. It definitely has an impact.
- A student’s motivational state – .42 – Higher value than a teacher’s education.
- A student’s beliefs, attitudes, and dispositions toward learning – .47 – pretty good compared to that .41
Looking at the research from this perspective it would appear a student’s belief in their own potential has a greater impact than the amount of education their teacher has…that would be correct.
Let’s look at this from a different perspective. Remember when I said Dr. Hattie indicated anything at a .4 or higher indicated significant impact? Here is another figure for you:
- A teacher’s belief in themselves they can accomplish the job, and can exude that confidence in front of a group of students, has the highest impact on student achievement. 1.57 – way above a .4!
This is why, as an administrator who sat on the opposite side of the table during teacher interviews, I learned not to give priority to the amount of education a teacher has, rather to their passion for teaching and belief in children. A teacher can have all of the content knowledge in the world, but none of that matters if they can’t connect to children.
The coming weeks are going to be hard. It’s a long haul between now and spring break. You will make it though! Just remember: Believe in your students, believe in your team, believe in yourself!!!
At times, teaching can feel like an endurance race more than a job. Research says there are two teacher traits which can measure the effectiveness of a teacher. They have nothing to do with years of experience, or how many degrees a person holds.
These two traits? Teacher Self-Efficacy, and the intrinsic Belief Students can learn.
Teacher self-efficacy has to do with capacity. Are you qualified to do your job? Well, you wouldn’t have been hired if you didn’t have the skills. You were hired because of the skills you have, and your philosophy on education. You are capable, you just need to make sure you express the confidence which goes along with capability.
You may have been asked the following question in your interview: ‘Do you believe all students can learn?’. You are in your position because you answered yes, and because the person who hired you thought you meant it. To say that all students can learn is one thing, but meaning it is completely different. When you have a strong belief in something, it often helps you in an adverse situation. Consider the Little Engine Who Could… “I think I can, I think I can…” There are going to be students who challenge your beliefs. Unfortunately, there are also going to be other adults in your building who are going to challenge them too some will be outright adamant this just isn’t true. Don’t let them change your thinking. Kids will know when you give up on them.
So the next time you are confronted by a parent questioning your credentials, or a student asking how old you are, remember this: YOU ARE QUALIFIED! You have the skills needed to get the job done, and you have a plan to do it! You believe in yourself, and most importantly, you believe those students you work alongside on a daily basis can too.
Learn More About These Teacher Traits And What John Hattie Has to Say About Them