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Teachers’ Invisible Effectiveness

Curious about teachers’ effectiveness, Kirabo Jackson of Northwestern University researched the non-cognitive ability of four unbiased data: attendance, suspensions, on-time grade progression, and overall GPA. These non-cognitive reference measures proved to be a better predictor than students’ standardized test scores about students’ statistical chances to go to college and earn better wages as adults. Jackson found out that unique cohorts of teachers across the country were able to raise students’ performance on non-cognitive abilities. Students under their leadership were more likely to show up in class, avoid being suspended, and move to the next grade level. Most importantly, GPA scores increased remarkably. The data that Jackson collected consistently demonstrated that extensive time spent with these specific teachers changed the students’ behaviors. These behavior catalysts were able to project profound messages about belonging and connecting. They naturally created an environment where students were motivated to make better decisions, persevere longer on challenging tasks and deal more resiliently with ever present setbacks and frustrations. These ‘invisible’ skills established new ways of thinking that somehow produced a new way of behaving and, in so doing, determined one’s future successful journey in life.


Effective Teachers


Develop relationships with students

Are patient, caring, and kind

Know students

Engage students in learning

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