As I discussed in yesterday’s post, “It’s Not an Instructional Decision, It’s Bigger Than That – Part 1,” the instructional strategies that we choose (and choose not) to use have an impact on our students beyond our classrooms. Today we will look at three skills and practices that are strongly correlated to adult success: Literacy, Public Speaking, and Work Ethic.


Literacy:The more literate a person, the greater her income potential. Now most of you are thinking, “I’m not a Reading / English teacher, so what does this have to do with me?”


A lot, actually. At a cognitive level, the acts of reading and writing are so intertwined that they are essentially inseparable. Now lots of contents do not lend themselves to extensive reading during a class period.  But there are opportunities in every content to embed critical writing activities. Critical Writing, a Fundamental 5 practice, represents the most powerful instructional strategies available to teachers. Which means when you embed critical writing opportunities in your lessons three things are occurring simultaneously: 1 – Your students will perform better in your class. 2 – You are supporting literacy in your content (which will make your Principal very happy). 3 – You are providing your students the opportunity to get better at the one of the skills that makes the biggest impact on their earning potential. Win! Win!! Win!!!


Public Speaking:The ability to speak to, and in front of groups is a skill that is high correlated to income and career success. When you embed student-to-student collaboration and Frequent Small Group Purposeful Talk (a Fundamental 5 Practice) in every lesson, two things are occurring simultaneously: 1 – Your students will perform better in your class. 2 – You are providing your students daily opportunities to get better at a skill that makes a big impact on their earning potential. Win! Win!!


Work Ethic:Work ethic has a greater impact on income potential than I.Q. Think about that for a minute… In the real world, sweat beats brains. A number of teachers will think, “That’s an interesting factoid, but what does that have to do with me?”


A lot, actually. Work ethic can be taught, modeled and enhanced.  The Fundamental 5 practice of Recognition and Reinforcement is your instructional tool to both improve student performance and to engrain the habit of working hard to accomplish difficult tasks. As you increase both the quality and the quantity of Recognition and Reinforcement that you provide for your students they will work harder and have more success in your class, and the purposefully cultivated work ethic will travel with them from setting to setting, all the way into adulthood.


Again, you thought you were just teaching (enter your subject here). How you teach, the daily instructional choices you make, either diminishes or enhances the lives of your students. What do YOU choose to do?


Think. Work. Achieve.

Your turn…

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