Great school leaders and great teachers make great schools. To get there, school leaders must recruit, retain, coach, and support effective teaching in their schools.
To create school environments where students want to learn and are inspired to achieve, school leaders [must] first recognize that the teacher is the most important variable affecting student learning.
This premise is reinforced by a meta-analysis completed by Marzano (2003) which found a student scoring at the 50th percentile is likely to continue scoring at the 50th percentile after two years at an average school and in an average teacher’s classroom. However, consider additional findings from the study:
Most effective school, most effective teacher: After two years student increases from 50th percentile to 96th.
Least effective school, most effective teacher: After two years student increases from 50th percentile to 63rd.
Most effective school, least effective teacher: After two years student drops from 50th percentile to 37th.
Least effective school, least effective teacher: After two years student drops from 50th percentile to 3rd.
Developing excellence in our teaching practices is not a choice, but a responsibility! Evidence-based classroom learning, a set of actions built on clinical expertise and experience from professional practices, provides a framework for improving human performance in organizations. It allows teachers more time to create and integrate creativity in their classrooms and to pay attention to the specific needs of every student, allows teachers to focus on student learning, and allows teachers to make a difference in the lives of those they teach each day to improve student learning and increase parent satisfaction.
Leaders must train and support teachers to get student learning results that last. Start by communicating expectations to teachers. Just as we communicate expectations for student learning to our students in our classrooms, a leader must communicate his/her expectations to teachers. The importance of this for our students is evidenced in Marzano’s findings outlined above; the importance of communicating expectations to our teachers is evidenced in our Studer Education and Studer Group colleagues’ work with leaders: Over 90 percent of employees perform when they know what their leader expects from them and when the leader practices the five actions/elements above.
TeacherReady® is the state-approved Educator Preparation Institute of the NCATE accredited Professional Education Unit at the University of West Florida. Upon completion of TeacherReady, individuals earn a professional teaching certificate from the State of Florida. Visit the TeacherReady at http://TeacherReady.org or connect with us on Facebook to hear stories from the more than 1,200 TeacherReady teachers now making a difference as a classroom teacher. The TeacherReady curriculum is grounded in the Who’s Engaged? Student Engagement Framework.
Marzano, R. 2003. what Works in Schools: Translating Research Into Action. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Photo Credit: SmartKids.com