Know Thy Impact

Sunday, October 18, 2015

the ability to produce a desired or intended result: There is little information on the efficacy of this program.

ORIGIN early 16th cent.: from Latin efficacia

     I just spent 2 days at a conference with John Hattie on Visual Learning, and my take aways were many.  I intend on blogging about many of them, as the year continues, because their ideas will make our teaching better, and our learners more self directed.  But, I need to write a quick #educoach post today, so I'll start with thoughts about teacher efficacy.

     The impact we have as teachers is immense.  We affect our learners in many ways, some of which are visible the same day, and many that are not visible for years.  Christopher Lehman recently compared teaching to a mission to Mars.  The results of the mission would take years to be seen, but could be extraordinary.

     But, sometimes, the rocket ship crashes.

     As a coach and as a teacher, I have seen teachers feel trampled under the piles of new curriculum and the standards and the new initiatives that come along.  They adopt new programs and strategies, but sometimes don't see the big picture.  They start to lose themselves in the process.  This is not new.  In my 17 years an educator, I have seen many initiatives come and go (and even come back again).  As Ainsley Rose said today, sometimes teachers find themselves in a constant state of disequilibrium because they do not feel true to themselves.

     When teachers don't feel that they have efficacy, when they feel that they don't have an impact on their students, then all seems dark.  Lost in space, if you will.

      What is the answer then?  How can we find our way out of the darkness and see the stars in front of us?

      We need to be evaluators of our own impact.  We need to be the ones who look to our students, and see the difference that we make.  We need to determine what our ethical and moral base is, and we need to be true to that.  If we commit to a purpose, and not a plan, then we stay true to who we are, and our students benefit from our teaching even more.

     The truth is, the classrooms of today are very different from the classrooms that we attended ourselves.  The students we have in our classrooms need to be prepared differently, because the world that they will live in is far more connected than the past.  It is important that we stay true to the needs of our students, but also to the needs of ourselves as learners too.  We are also adapting to this new world of learning.  How can we be both a learner and a teacher at the same time?

     Know thy impact.  Know that the work you are doing is making a difference.

     Collaborate with others.  Don't think you are in this process alone.  You are not.

     Believe in the efficacy of teachers.  Know that you are preparing the future.

     But, perhaps my favorite of the day...

     Be an evaluator of your own impact.

     With all the changes out there, we cannot wait for people to come to us and tell us we are on the right path.  We have to look at our own instruction, and then look to the kids.   Are they learning because of us?  It is in those honest and private reflections where we will know what we need to reteach, or learn ourselves, or ask for support.  It is also where we will see our impact, and know that we matter.

     Here is a video by John Hattie to help with that reflection:

     Know thy impact.  :)  

Also, do your PLN a favor and follow these Visible Learning experts:

1 comment:

  1. Hi Leah! I found your blog through the #educoach blog challenge. What a great message about impact. I have also seen many teachers feel "lost in the process." Approaching our instruction with a metacognitive approach is key.