Thursday, June 30, 2016

Student and Teacher Engagement

This has a been a big week of learning for me! Last night, I finished my five-week Twitter book chat on Engaging Students with Poverty in Mind: Practical Strategies for Raising Achievement by Eric Jensen, and the day before, I completed a day-long study on Fostering Teacher Engagement through the BB&T Leadership Institute. (If you want to check out the conversation on the book, search #CCLRPLN on Twitter.)
Research indicates that increased student engagement correlates to increased student achievement.  (If you want to read it for yourself, see Jensen's reference list.)  There has also been a positive correlation established between teacher engagement and student engagement. Teacher engagement also supports teacher attendance, which supports student achievement.
One resource I'm still digesting from the teacher engagement study is a detailed set of survey data regarding engagement drivers.  Prior to my session, the 35 professional members of my staff were invited to complete a survey about my work and interaction with them. Despite the request coming during the very busy time of the last three weeks of school, 24 people completed it, which is wonderful. (Thanks, Team Poe!)  During the Institute, I had the opportunity to reflect on the feedback from my faculty, and to begin to plan how I might use it, but I'm not finished.
I'm excited to move forward in my own professional learning to sustain and cultivate the higher-than-average level (per the data) of teacher engagement. By making my efforts at growth transparent, I hope to be an encouragement to teachers who seek to increase engagement for their students.