Why Our Schools Can’t Learn
MINDSHIFT® is a performance management solution for teachers that helps them not only manage their time effectively, but also transform their performance.
According to a Gallup poll released on October 19, 2014, more than half of U.S. teachers are in “non-productive” performance. In some cases, teachers are becoming sick because they spend too much time planning and discussing instead of teaching. At the end of the day, this is not productive for students, because they need to be learning to be productive human beings.
If we factor in how much money in savings that this trend contributes, we find that there is a $50 billion gap between spending and productivity.
According to the most recent America’s Report Card, a single year of coursework would be required to prepare U.S. students for the competitive work force of the future. And, according to the National Teachers Association survey, 70 percent of teachers surveyed noted that students are struggling with achieving the skills required for well-paying jobs, making them often more anxious, depressed and anxious.
Not surprisingly, there is a link between anxiety and performance. U.S. students in grades four to 12 have the highest stress levels among teachers surveyed, making it much more difficult for them to perform at a level that is truly effective. In general, anxiety contributes to performance, and that increase in performance implies a more positive mood.
On the other hand, keeping classroom functioning down and low-performing teachers in place can have a negative impact on student performance. When teachers are under stress, they can’t provide the ideal atmosphere to allow students to be successful in the long run.
Additionally, when teachers have lots of time to practice techniques of preparing students for more difficult courses, that can also help promote learning. While planning time and discussion are essential for teaching, there is some research to show that even periods of reflection on solutions can help promote student learning when time has been kept up to certain standards. Additionally, the impact of five days of planning can result in up to two weeks of improved student learning.
Many of the teachers with less than full school days have nothing more than three to four hours of teacher time per day, according to recent research at Stanford University. There is no reason to believe that teachers are never able to get as much classroom time as a full day of planning every day, but it certainly is more difficult to find it. A low student performance can be triggered by teachers not taking advantage of their full classroom time to be effective.
“In essence, many teachers say they waste too much time doing review, planning, and preparing their lessons. However, if we add a little creativity to the equation, these teachers could make more instructional time go farther, improve student learning and broaden their bond with their students,” said Julia Lipman, founder of Lessons4Success®.
The truth is, teachers that maximize their time can leverage their time as efficiently as they possibly can in order to teach their students effectively and be effective, while still getting to know their students and being creative in the classroom. It’s the unique combination of using planning and discussion times to get a lot done, and then recognizing when “room for improvement” is necessary to optimize on what they have available to them, that provides true value to teachers and students.
The goal is to teach students enough to be successful in life, but not so much that they feel too stressed out to be successful. Teachers need to put students first and be productive in the classroom to reach those goals.