This is the fourth and final post in a series based around an interview I had with John Hattie earlier this year.
Having tutored on pre-service teacher training programs and I worked regularly with new teachers in my consulting work to schools, I thought I’d wrap up this series of posts by sharing with you the advice that John Hattie would give new teachers.
Straight off the bat he cited the work of Maurice Galton, Emeritus Professor at the University of Leicester, UK.
Galton has studied the impact that transition has on students, both from class to class and from school to school. From Galton’s work, Hattie concludes:
“Make sure in the first month every kid has a friend.”
He says, “It’s the best predictor of investment in learning that we know of. Schools can be incredibly lonely places for a lot of kids. And having a friend is really critical. If you want high achievement the first month is about friendship.”
The second thing Hattie says – and this will come as no surprise if you’ve read his work – is that teacher should constantly ask themselves – every time they walk into the classroom – three questions;
- How do I know I’m going to have impact?
- What does impact mean today?
- How do I know the size of the impact?
Hattie says the way to finding the answers to these questions don’t come from constantly “testing.” Rather he says:
“It’s being open-minded to seeing your impact and listening to the students. Those are the two things I think are the most powerful; those are the two things they often don’t get taught in teachers colleges. Those are the things when you look at great teachers – that’s what they worry about in their first month, in their first year.”
I’d like to thank John for his time in granting me an interview, and whether you agree with him, are skeptical of the stats, research methods etc, I hope this series of posts has added to your thinking.
Until next time…