his year as we have worked with countless teachers and leaders across North America, we have been able to connect assessment for learning strategies to the purposeful building of efficacy – the belief in one’s ability to make a difference. When armed with ideas about how to increase learners’ understanding of quality and proficiency, how to involve learners in feedback cycles, and how to have learners document their own learning, teachers and leaders report to us that they feel better equipped to increase engagement in learning. In other words, their sense of efficacy has grown. To read more of Brenda’s experiences in this regard, see her most recent blog post.
And yet, when we are modeling one of these strategies in classrooms in front of a group of teachers or when using them with a teacher or group of teachers in front of leaders, we hear, from time to time, these sentiments, “Of course that worked. They had to pay attention with so many teachers in the room.”
These statements speak to a lower sense of efficacy, because when we attribute the success of teaching and learning to factors outside of our own control, we suggest that our teaching is not a factor. And so, let us instead consider these questions:
- For what reasons was this carefully designed lesson successful with these learners at this time?
- For what reasons did this carefully crafted conversation invite a teacher to identify for herself a next instructional pivot?
- How can we develop the capacity to talk about the power of the thinking, planning, and impact of a professional teacher and leader?
These are some of the questions we will explore with leaders during our summer events, July 3-5 in the Comox Valley and August 22-23 in Ajax, ON where we have deliberately designed time to provide custom coaching (July 6th in the Comox Valley and August 23rd in Ajax, ON). Coaching increases feelings of efficacy and, as a result, you are better able to successfully face the challenges and the road ahead in the 2018-2019 school year.
With all our best,
Anne, Sandra, Brenda, and the connect2learning team