Office of Continuing Education

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Christa Sterling

October 24th, 2017

As an educator, you likely spend a great deal of time thinking about student success. It’s difficult to feel successful as a teacher when your students struggle to learn, and you see the obstacles standing in their way.

While sound teaching methods, a quality curriculum, and appropriate technologies can contribute greatly to the success of your students, here are some approaches that go a little bit deeper into students’ personal development and motivations to help advance their learning.

1. Building on students’ character strengths.

Certain personal characteristics help students be more successful inside and outside of the classroom. Researchers have identified the following as characteristics related to student success.

  • Grit (perseverance)
  • Self-control
  • Optimism (hope)
  • Gratitude
  • Zest (enthusiasm)
  • Curiosity
  • Social intelligence

When you encourage and teach students to build upon these character strengths, you give them a strong foundation for success, now as students and in the future as workers, parents and spouses, friends, and more.

2. Developing a growth mindset.

Students who believe they are capable of growth in their learning are more likely to engage in actions that will foster that growth, like practice, using different learning strategies, and persistence. In turn, these actions will grow their intelligence and capabilities and build their confidence so that they can take on even more challenges.

This approach teaches students how the brain learns and praises the process rather than performance or the end result, which gives students confidence and encourages them to keep going in their academic pursuits.

3. Cultivating a sense of belonging.

Students who feel like they don’t belong or fit in at school are typically less successful than those with a sense of belonging. Students who feel this way may reject school and schoolwork. Teachers who can break through a student’s outsider mentality and convince them that they do belong in the school and the classroom will break down one of the strongest barriers to learning.

4. Fostering a sense of purpose.

Students who understand that the work they do in school will benefit them for the rest of their lives make more of an effort to do their best. Having a sense of purpose keeps students going when they start to feel discouraged, or the reasons for assignments don’t make sense to them.

All the cutting-edge teaching methods and technologies in the world will be ineffective if students don’t have a mindset that tells them they can learn, should learn, and will benefit by learning in your classroom. These approaches will go to the heart of the things that keep students from learning and solve many common learning problems at the source.

CCSU has three new upcoming courses that show teachers how to use these approaches to help their students to be more successful. Join our mailing list for updates on these and other continuing education courses.