Why does it matter?
The YouthTruth Survey question “How many of your teachers believe that you can get a good grade if you try?” gets at something that is at the heart of high-quality student-teacher relationships and equity. Students’ perception of their teacher’s expectations for them is crucial when it comes to students’ self-confidence and academic performance.
Coaching students to believe in themselves with Teach Like a Champion
Coaching students to believe in themselves and their ability to succeed can be transformative. Here are tips from Chapter One of Teach Like a Champion (27-56), by Doug Lemov and Norman Atkins, on how to inspire students to believe in their own success:
No opt out
When a student is unable to answer a question, they should end up answering that question as often as possible even if it takes extra work to get there.
Right is right
Set and defend a high standard of correctness for students.
Learning does not end with a right answer; reward right answers with follow-up questions that extend knowledge and test for reliability. This technique is especially important for differentiating instruction.
It’s not just what students say that matters but how they communicate it. To succeed, students must take their knowledge and express it in the language of opportunity.
Sometimes the way we talk about expectations inadvertently lowers them. If we’re not on guard, we can unwittingly apologize for teaching worthy content and even for the students themselves.