07 out 2015 A true story… My work is effective!
It’s amazing how things happen in life. Learning English has always been a passion for me and this is what I want to pass on to my students, but we never know if this is actually achievable…
Well, other day I was taking part in a social event when a woman, accompanied by her husband, approached me and asked for a minute of my time… I had recognised her as the mother of a student and immediately thought it would be a problem of some sort – no one has positive feelings when suddenly approached. In fact, this mother came to me to congratulate the school on an excellent work. Her son, our student, had gone to Europe with his grandparents and as a minor, he was expected, as she said, to lay back and wait for the grandparents to take the lead and deal with the situations during the trip. She said that, to everyone’s surprise, not only was the boy able to interact but also to help people in the group to get what they want in different countries and contexts. He could speak English properly in all situations.
I was so happy I could explode! This is the sort of thrill teachers get when there is the confirmation their work is efective and valued. This moves us forward into more development, professional and personal as well.
The other day I read an article by Ron Zambo & Debby Zambo (2008) about professional development for Maths teachers and even though it’s not definitely my case, the following paragraph called my attention:
“Individual efficacy is highly associated with teacher motivation, which in turn affects student achievement (Bandura, 1993, 1997). Teachers with a strong sense of individual efficacy tend to spend more time planning, designing, and organizing what they teach. They are open to new ideas, willing to try new strategies, set high goals, and persist through setbacks and times of change (Goddard, Hoy & Woolfolk Hoy, 2000). In other words, teachers with a strong sense of individual efficacy believe they can and do make a difference in the lives of their students and that their students can and will achieve. Research into individual efficacy shows that it is a complex construct composed of two distinguishable components: personal competence and personal level of influence (Hoy & Woolfolk, 1993).”
So, all in all, it occurred to me that teachers have indeed a great deal of influence on their students’ lives and achievements. Once the teacher is self motivated and willing to improve, this whole idea can transform his or her lessons and his or her peers as well as promote a wave of professional development. After all, the bottom line has to do with the learner.
The more we improve, the better for our pupils, so let’s keep up the good work!