THE SEVEN MOVES
Empower the team and do not micromanage
- Teach mindsets. Develop the mindsets of agency, creativity, growth mindset and passion for learning. A mindset is a mental attitude or inclination that predetermines how a person will respond to a given situation. Where employers screen for them, teachers can embed activities into the student experience that nurture the mindsets that their students need to engage with in order to master academic content.
- Release control. Provide content and resources that students are free to access without your direct instruction. The traditional classroom model leads students through a single, unified curriculum at the pace of the whole group. Other models, such as online and blended learning are emerging, however, that empower students to drive their own learning and free up teachers’ time for those who need more help.
- Encourage teaming. Drawing on the research of Harvard Business School professor Amy Edmondson, today’s fast-paced world relies on the skill of people quickly coming together to solve problems, as opposed to teams selected for long-term balance and stability. To teach this, teachers can foster peer-to-peer learning and dynamic, team-based collaboration.
Be a good coach
- Give feedback. In schools, we associate the term “feedback” with either formal assessments and grading protocols for students or high-stakes performance reviews for teachers. In high-performing classrooms, feedback is focused on positive, constructive improvement, not evaluation. Create a culture of feedback so that students receive personal, frequent, and actionable feedback in the moment, in small groups, and in one-on-ones.
- Build relationships of trust. In a time of broad societal changes in the functioning of families and children, as New York Times columnist David Brooks noted, “many students come to school lacking a secure emotional base … Today we have to fortify the heart if we are going to educate the mind.” Show interest and concern in students as individuals and trust in their ability to drive their own learning, given the right structures are in place.
- Help students hold themselves accountable. Give them tools to set goals, track their progress, follow through, and take stock of where they are, pausing to reflect about how to improve before beginning the cycle anew..
- Hold yourself accountable. Use reflection time, peers, student surveys, and self-assessments to make sure that you are on track personally and requiring of yourself the same commitment to setting goals, learning, tracking progress, reporting, and reflection that you expect of their students.