School Climate and Future Orientation

Promoting students’ future orientation is inherently a goal of the educational system. Recently, it has received more explicit attention given the increased focus on career readiness. This study aimed to examine the association between school climate and adolescents’ report of future orientation using data from youth (N = 27,698; 49.4 % female) across 58 high schools. Three-level hierarchical linear models indicated that perceptions of available emotional and service supports, rules and consequences, and parent engagement were positively related to adolescents’ future orientation. Additionally, the school-level average future orientation was significantly related to individuals’ future orientation, indicating a potential influence of contextual effects on this construct. Taken together, these findings suggest that interventions targeting school climate may hold promise for promoting future orientation.   Continue reading.

Day 2 IFT SBJ Summit

I am so excited to begin this second day.  I have met some amazing educators and feel blessed to be able to share this experience with other new teachers in my district.

Being a Strength-Based Teacher

Being a Strength-Based Teacher

Judy Blakeney, my IFT partner in crime, discovered an article called “Enriching the Context of Lifelong learning.” The author, Haines, does a self-study on her role as a teacher to future teachers. Using action research that culminates in data gathering and analysis, she concludes her paper with a statement about how she creates her own “living theory, continuously looping…theory to practice and…practice to theory, whilst living my values as fully as I can.” She adds, “By modelling…I can make explicit my strengths…” 
Generally, we hear researchers and practitioners hoping for a seamless ‘theory to practice’ pipeline. However, practitioners know that the difficulties encountered when trying to put the theory to practice become so large that the theory quickly loses with buy-in and trust at an absolute low.
Possibly, the strengths-based framework stands out because it’s a theory that not only informs practice but also improves personal learning conditions. Approaching students with a strength-based lens, the students are not the only ones who discover, inquire and pursue, but the teacher also has multiple opportunitiesto grow, learn and innovate. Both students and teachers get to strengthen those natural and innate strengths, talents and skills. 
As a junior high school teacher in my twelfth year, I discovered that Marzano or DuFour simply did not feel as genuine and authentic as a Strength-Based approach. With a Strength-Based approach, the strategies and techniques rested in personalized thinking, innovations and talents. Intuitively and innately, my talents translated into strengths in the same way that I wanted each student’s talents to translate into strengths.