I am extremely intrigued by this new book by Fischer, Frey and Hattie. Having spent the last year studying Visible Learning, I thought this would be a logical next step in better understanding the links to literacy. Only being a short way in, I am struck by the importance of relationships and credibility. How can we create a system where rigorous academics can co-exist with relationship and teacher credibility? So often, these ideas are in direct contrast to each other. It seems, at least to me that with strong relationships, the academics will follow close behind. However, without relationships, academics will struggle. Teachers are often put in a place where academics are the focus and what’s measured. The pressure of the expectations often shifts a person’s focus from the relationship to a checklist of getting things completed.
As a coach, I encounter this struggle regularly and struggle myself with how to shift one’s perspective.
Fischer and Frey offer some suggestions on building the relationship with students. Many of them are quite simple.
- Display student work
- Share class achievements
- Speak to the accomplishments of all students
- Be sincere in their pride in their students and make sure that pride is based on evidence of student work, not generalized comments
- Look for opportunities for students to be proud of themselves and of other students or groups of students.
- Develop parental pride in student accomplishments
- Develop pride in improvement in addition to the pride in excellence.
I’ll keep reading and update as I learn more. What questions do you still have about this topic? What struggles do you have in your own classroom?