Training Focuses on Teachers’ Expectations
Standing before columns of numbers on the blackboard, Jill Lyttle is teaching her 8th graders about prime factorization. She calls on a boy who often struggles in the class. After each not-yet-correct answer, she asks another question until he gets it right. At the back of the room, another teacher silently marks down a point for Ms. Lyttle.
The scene in an Arlington, Va., classroom is part of a training program that aims to raise teachers’ awareness of how they treat their students. The Teacher Expectations & Student Achievement, or TESA, program—which delves into whether teachers deal with their lower-achieving and higher-achieving students equitably—has been used nationally for more than 30 years. But its popularity appears to be increasing as educators seek ways to build teacher-student connections that can engage children in learning.
Over a period of months, teachers in the TESA program learn about 15 pivotal teaching behaviors. They observe one another employing them in the classroom and record the...
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