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Getting Past the Masks that Adolescents Wear: Learning to Work with Everyone in the Classroom 3 rd Annual Summer Institute of School Leadership Center.

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Presentation on theme: "Getting Past the Masks that Adolescents Wear: Learning to Work with Everyone in the Classroom 3 rd Annual Summer Institute of School Leadership Center."— Presentation transcript:


2 Getting Past the Masks that Adolescents Wear: Learning to Work with Everyone in the Classroom 3 rd Annual Summer Institute of School Leadership Center of Trinidad & Tobago

3 Contact Information Frank C. Worrell, Ph.D. Director, School Psychology Program Graduate School of Education University of California 4511 Tolman Hall Berkeley, CA 94720-1670 (510) 643-4891

4 Five Maxims for Effective Schools 1.Relationships among students, among teachers, between teachers and students, and between administrators and teachers must be positive and respectful. 2.Teachers must prepare for teaching. 3.Believe, in spite of everything that you see to the contrary, that your students want to learn. 4.Believe that your teaching does make a difference. 5.Assess your effectiveness (i.e., your students’ learning) as a teacher on an ongoing basis.

5 Why Do We Teach? To teach is to transform by informing, to develop a zest for lifelong learning, to help pupils become students - i.e., mature independent learners, architects of an exciting, challenging future. Teaching at its best is a kind of communion, a meeting and merging of minds. - Edgar Dale

6 Why Do We Teach? It is said that “the person who plants a seed does well, the person who nurtures that seed into a tree does well, the person who cuts the tree down and makes it into boards does well, the person who takes those boards and makes a bench does well, but the person who sits on the bench and teaches others does better than the rest.”

7 Actuality versus Aspiration Scale for Post-It is a 1 - 7 scale 1 = Abysmal; 2 = Very Poor; 3 = Poor; 4 = Fair; 5 = Good; 6 = Very Good; 7 = Excellent Based on what you learned yesterday, rate how you teaching now. Be honest and put “Actual” in parentheses. Do not put a name. Rate your aspiration for your teaching in 3 - 5 years. Put “Aspiration” in parentheses.

8 Overview of Presentation The “Persona” Why do we wear masks? What types of masks do adolescents wear? Three principles for effective learning The first two teaching maxims in greater depth.

9 Question How many times have you pretended NOT to know a rule when you are caught breaking the rule? We all have a side that we show the public and a private face that we show to very few people.

10 Persona Carl Jung, one of the more well-known psychoanalytic theorists, called this face that we show the public, the persona. The persona is a number of things. It’s the… –social mask that we show to others. –public face we put on. –role that we take on due to pressure from society (e.g., other teachers, other adolescents, other principals). Teachers have personas as do students, as do all.

11 The Teaching Service Being an effective teacher is very, very, very hard. Nobody gets it right all the time. As teachers, we must keep learning, assessing our work as we progress, discarding the things that do not work, keeping the things that do work, and keeping an open mind to new strategies. –The “standard practice of today can be malpractice tomorrow,” and this statement does not just apply to medicine. It is determined by what we have learned. What you learn over these three days make some of your standard practice into malpractice - you will know more than you did.

12 Why do People Wear Masks? To hide the true self. –Those who know you well can take advantage of you. To protect self-worth. –No one wants to appear stupid. To fit in with others –“Acting White” accusation in the US Can you think of other reasons?

13 Why do students wear masks? How do You respond when a student makes an error in your classroom? What if the error is on something that you just taught them? Is your response different? How do you allow other students to respond? The first question is really this: Are schools safe places for student…. –to make mistakes? –to show what they do not know? –for learning?

14 You may think your classroom is a safe place, but do your students concur with this assessment? Are you, as a teacher,… Caring? Supportive when mistakes are made. Open to students’ questions? Open to their comments about your class? Prepped for your classes? Trying to find ways for students to show what they know? Are you, as a teacher,… Sarcastic when students make mistakes? Unwilling to entertain questions? Concerned about what students think of your class? Prepared! for class? Looking for ways to fail students for their lack of preparation?

15 What are some of the masks that students wear/adopt in your class? Disinterested Aggressive Class Clown Excessive bravado Individual who embarrasses teachers… Others??

16 Three General Principles - P1 Barbara McCombs (Improving Teacher Education) Learners are motivated by learning situations and activities that (a) challenge them to become personally and actively involved in their own learning and (b) allow them personal choice and control matched to their abilities and the learning task requirements.

17 Three General Principles - P2 Learners’ motivation is enhanced if they perceive that learning tasks (a) directly or indirectly relate to personal needs, interests, and goals and (b) are of appropriate difficulty levels such that they can accomplish them successfully.

18 Three General Principles - P3 Learners’ natural motivation to learn can be elicited in safe, trusting, and supportive environments characterized by (a) quality relationships with caring adults that see their unique potential, (b) instructional supports that are tailored to students’ unique learning needs, and (c) opportunities for students to take risks without fear of failure.

19 5 Maxims for Effective Schools 1.Have positive, respectful relationships among members of the school community. 2.Be prepared for your classes. 3.Believe, in spite of everything that you see to the contrary, that your students want to learn. 4.Believe that teaching does make a difference. 5.Assess your effectiveness as a teacher on an ongoing basis.

20 How Do We Start? Establish the relationship with the students at the beginning of the academic year, and work on maintaining it across the year, and remember that students will be students. The relationship that you cultivate with your students will determine their willingness to work with and for you. Prepare interesting lessons, but these are not sufficient. Organize your classroom routines and presentation of the material to maximize teaching time.

21 Positive, Respectful Relationships Always remember that students (even adolescents) are still children who… –sometimes do not see the whole picture. –Even when they see the whole picture, often do not see its immediate application. –Often come to the wrong conclusion from the picture that they see. Remember that you are the adult.

22 Create a Community of Learners Focus on accomplishments, strengths, and improvement in your classes. –Find students’ assets, not their deficits. Give students choices, particularly adolescents. –On assignments, projects Model positive, constructive language. –Students will interact with others in your classroom and in your presence in ways that you do and reinforce. –Negative and sarcastic comments stifle motivation and self-efficacy, and encourage student rebellion. Allow students to save face.

23 Create a Community of Learners - 2 Set reasonable standards… –Based on students’ cognitive abilities and current skill levels, not just their age and form or standard. Say or do at least one encouraging thing to each student regularly. See the individual. Teach students skills directly and concretely. –Highlight (TELL) important points, demonstrate (SHOW) the skills you want to teach,lead (DO) activities that allow for practising those skills,and provide corrective and supportive FEEDBACK about the application of the skills.

24 Create a Community of Learners - 3 Be clear and fair in your grading practices. –Let students know what grades are based on. –Find ways for students whose writing or other traditional skills are low to have the opportunity to earn grades based on knowledge of content, rather than lack of specific skills. Build some fun into your class across the term. –Fun sessions can be work-related/academic. Admit to your mistakes and apologize, to the whole class, if necessary.

25 Create a Community of Learners - 4 Avoid the “everyone can” trap. –“Everyone can learn” is s truism that we aspire to, but everyone cannot learn the same things at the same rate and at the same time. Meet students where they are and work from there. –It is only in this way that all students and teachers can see that learning is taking place. Should everyone aspire to become Prime Minister of T & T. That goal is distal. Teach them as if they can, but focus their attention on more proximal and achievable goals.

26 Principle 2: Preparation Being an Effective Teacher What do effective teachers do? –Some of the things that effective teachers do are listed on the next slide. –However, keep in mind that effective teaching is dependent in part on the subject matter, the students that you have, and their current skills in the subject area. In other words, effective teaching is not static, but dynamic - effective teachers adapt lessons, presentations, media, etc., they evaluate their success in teaching their students.

27 Effective Teachers Manage classrooms well. Maximize teaching time. –Classroom management –Organization Know the subject matter. Know what they want the students to learn in each lesson. Find out what their students know. They assess their effectiveness and students’ leaning.

28 The Teacher Who Won’t What do I do as a principal with this person? Nothing!!! 25 teachers –1–15 who will work with you. –1–10 who won’t work with you. If you focus on the 10, you help no one.

29 Which teacher are you more likely to work with and for? Teacher A –Displays anger overtly –Makes insulting remarks –Is perceived as unfair –Talks only about mistakes –Shouts at students –Gives no opportunity to speak –Is bossy and demanding Teacher B –Speaks in a calm voice –Uses humour –Is perceived as fair –Explains why, how what –Is enthusiastic –Gets right to the point. –Gives specific examples –Makes eye contact

30 Social Psychology Principles Fundamental attribution error Interpreting our behavior as environmentally driven and the behavior of others as innately driven. Belief perseverance bias –Refusing to change previously held beliefs, even in the face of new evidence. High positive self-regard –Viewing ourselves in the most positive light and failing to apply objective standards to our own behavior.

31 Dr. Monroe’s Recommendations Believing that ALL children can learn. Developing detailed lesson plans for class. Not associating with teachers who drain you of energy - the “yes, but” crowd. Treating all of the students with respect. Conducting assessments to find out where students are functioning at beginning of term. Ignoring the set curriculum and working from where children are.

32 Your Task On the basis of these specific activities, rate your actual teaching and your aspiration for your teaching in 3 to 5 years on the following scale: 1 = Abysmal; 2 = Very Poor; 3 = Poor; 4 = Fair; 5 = Good; 6 = Very Good; 7 = Excellent I also made one more suggestion - not to give yourself a 7.

33 Actuality versus Aspiration 2 (Made-Up Figures) On the basis of these recommendations, here is how you rated yourselves.

34 And remember this: There are dull teachers, dull textbooks, dull films; but there are no dull subjects. AND You will never be able teach individuals unless you reach them.

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