INSPIRING STUDENTS Competency-Based Education Folio Series Element IXa

 
INSPIRING STUDENTS Competency-Based Education Folio Series Element IXa
Competency-Based Education
       Folio Series

       Element IXa
   INSPIRING STUDENTS
Copyright © 2021 by Robert J. Marzano

This folio is for use by schools and districts engaged in the process of becoming a Marzano
Academy.

Marzano Academies, Inc.
12577 East Caley Avenue
Centennial, CO 80111
Phone: 720-470-0360
Marzanoacademies.org
TABLE OF CONTENTS
What Does It Look Like When You Are Inspiring Students? .................................................................................. 1
What You Should Understand and Be Able To Do ...................................................................................................... 2
STRATEGIES ............................................................................................................................................................................... 3
              Use Inspirational Stories........................................................................................................................................ 3
              Share Personal Stories ............................................................................................................................................ 4
              Use Inspirational Quotes ....................................................................................................................................... 5
              Help Students Recognize Inspiration Killers ................................................................................................. 7
              Engage Students in Altruism Projects .............................................................................................................. 8
              Foster Gratitude ........................................................................................................................................................ 9
              Encourage Mindfulness ....................................................................................................................................... 11
DETERMINE YOUR STATUS & GROWTH REGARDING THIS ELEMENT ......................................................... 13
              Tracking Progress Over Time ........................................................................................................................... 15
              Strategy Reflection Log ....................................................................................................................................... 16
              Teacher Survey for Inspiring Students ......................................................................................................... 17
STUDENT SURVEYS
              Elementary School................................................................................................................................................. 18
              High School .............................................................................................................................................................. 19
REFERENCES ........................................................................................................................................................................... 20
Element IXa
                        INSPIRING STUDENTS
                IN A COMPETENCY-BASED CLASSROOM
The word “inspiration” is used frequently. However, it is rarely defined or even described in concrete
terms. That notwithstanding, most people recognize the feeling of inspiration when it occurs. One of
the goals of a CBE system is to not only inspire students but to use inspiration as a conduit to student
agency and efficacy.

What Does It Look Like When You Are Inspiring Students?
When teachers are attempting to inspire students, they should engage in activities like the following:

    •   Exposing students to inspirational stories and quotations
    •   Sharing with students what inspires them personally
    •   Engaging students in altruistic projects
    •   Having students journal about things they are grateful for
    •   Helping students to become mindful

Teachers also should be able to describe the primary strategies they use when attempting to inspire
students.

In addition to teachers engaging in specific behaviors, inspiring students involves students
themselves engaging in behaviors like the following:

    •   Noticeably engaging in activities designed to inspire them
    •   Engaging with community members in meaningful ways
    •   Demonstrating gratitude
    •   Demonstrating mindfulness

When asked, students also:

    •   Describe their teacher as someone who inspires them
    •   Describe altruistic projects as important
    •   Describe how they have become more mindful

                                                   1
What You Should Understand and Be Able To Do

Inspiring students involves the following actions:

   •   Use inspirational stories
   •   Share personal stories
   •   Use inspiration quotations
   •   Help students recognize inspiration killers
   •   Engage students in altruism projects
   •   Foster gratitude
   •   Encourage mindfulness

                                                     2
STRATEGIES
The strategies covered in this section reflect some of the key concepts and skills teachers should
understand and be able to apply to effectively inspire students.

Use Inspirational Stories
Many times, people become inspired when they hear, see, or read stories that are inspiring.
Inspirational stories make us believe that ideals we have wondered about are, in fact, true. For
example, assume an individual holds the ideal that if you put all of your energy and talent into
achieving a specific goal, people who have observed your efforts will come to your aid, even if you
falter. If that person watches a movie or reads a book that exemplifies this ideal, then he or she may
become inspired as a result.

It is not enough to simply present inspirational stories to students. After an inspirational story has
been shared with students, teachers must engage students in dialogue that helps them articulate the
ideal or ideals that the story helped them believe are true. The example in Exhibit 1 describes how
this might occur in the classroom.

Exhibit 1. Using Inspirational Stories
 Mr. Justice has been leading a unit about World War II. He knows that it is hard for many
 students to understand the Holocaust, why it happened, what happened, and how it affected
 families for generations. He wants to inspire students to learn about the Holocaust, even though
 they will hear about some of the horrific things that happened to millions of people.

 Mr. Justice puts together brief biographies of inspirational stories of individuals who survived the
 Holocaust, perished in its concentration camps, and/or risked their lives to rescue Jewish people
 and others who were persecuted. The short bios he develops for students highlight, for example,
 Simon Wiesenthal, Elie Wiesel, Johanna Eck, Irena Sendler, Otto Frank, Nicholas Winton, and
 Viktor Frankl.

 Mr. Justice asks students to make notes as they read the summaries about the ideals or principles
 that they think the various individuals represent. He also asks students to think about what
 inspires them about the stories of these individuals and how these stories influence how they
 view their study of the Holocaust.

There are a variety of resources teachers can use for inspirational stories, such as the following:

   •   Books and movies about individuals who represent extraordinary achievement, who
       overcame impossible odds, and/or who reflect our highest shared ideals (e.g., Diary of a
       Young Girl, by Anne Frank; Night, by Elie Wiesel; Yeager, by Chuck Yeager; the movies Apollo
       13 and Top Gun; books about Winston Churchill, Pope John Paul II, Buddha)
   •   Stories of people with disabilities who have accomplished great things and inspired others
       (e.g., Helen Keller, Stephen Hawking, Nick Vujicic, Bethany Hamilton)
   •   Nonprofit organizations and why they were started (e.g., the Michael J. Fox Foundation, St.
       Jude Children’s Research Hospital)

                                                   3
Share Personal Stories
Another way that teachers can inspire students is to share personal stories about times they were
inspired themselves. When this approach is used, teachers should begin with a discussion of some of
the ideals or principles they have developed to guide them throughout their lives. They should
explain that ideals are generalizations about life that people try to follow. For example, some people
seek to follow the ideal, “Treat others as I would want others to treat me.” Other ideals people
commonly try to live by include the following:

   •   Be honest but kind.
   •   Forgive easily.
   •   Rely on God or a higher power to guide your life.
   •   Give more than you take.
   •   Help others, particularly the weak, the poor, and those in trouble.
   •   Encourage others by pointing out their strengths and helping them to keep going despite
       failures.

Teachers might begin by sharing a personal ideal and describe a situation when that ideal affected
them positively or affected someone else positively. Teachers should then invite students to share
examples of how their own ideals have positively affected others. The example in Exhibit 2 describes
how this might occur in the classroom.

Exhibit 2. Sharing a Personal Stories to Inspire Students
 Ms. Brooks has been talking with students about how personal ideals or principles can positively
 affect others. She relates the story of her father, who at the age of 16 was near a lake when he
 heard voices shouting for help. He ran to the lake and saw two girls struggling to stay above
 water. He quickly dove into the lake, swam out to the girls, and pulled them both safely back to
 shore. The girls were sisters. Both would have drowned but for his bravery and quick thinking.
 Ms. Brooks explains that her father received a Boy Scouts of America award for the heroism he
 displayed in saving the lives of the sisters.

 Ms. Brooks shares that she has always been proud to know that her father saved these girls’ lives
 when he was a teenager, without hesitation and without concern for himself. She shares that
 both of her parents represented wonderful ideals all throughout their lives, but this particular
 story has always stuck with her as an example of the principle: “Help others, particularly the
 weak, the poor, and those in trouble.”

 Ms. Brooks gives students time to think of situations in which their own principles or those of
 someone close to them positively affected another’s life. After students have had some time to
 write about ideas that come to mind, she encourages them to talk with their families and think
 further about personally inspiring stories.

                                                  4
Use Inspirational Quotes

Many successful people have used quotes to inspire others. For example, the famous UCLA basketball
coach John Wooden frequently used quotes in lessons, interactions, practice, and conversations with
his players, inspiring them to be great basketball players but, more important, great people. Among
his most famous quotes are the following:

   •   “Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be
       careful.”

   •   “The best competition I have is against myself to become better.”

   •   “Be true to yourself. Make each day a masterpiece. Help others. Drink deeply from good
       books. Make friendship a fine art. Build a shelf against a rainy day.”

   •   “The most important thing in the world is family and love.”

John Wooden is recognized as one of the most influential people in college basketball history. As head
coach at UCLA, Wooden and his players won 10 NCAA National Championships in a 12-year period,
seven of which were consecutive wins.

Another person who was well known for her quotes about positive thinking was Louise Hay. As a
young woman, Louise became ill but used healthy practices, visualizations, and quotes in the form of
affirmations to help heal herself. Today, her quotes inspire millions of people around the world.

When using quotes, teachers should go beyond than simply presenting them to students. They should
also discuss with students what the quotes mean. For example, consider the statement, “Every
moment is a fresh beginning.” After presenting this statement to students, a teacher might ask
students what they think the underlying “ideal” might be. As the discussion progresses, the teacher
might offer the following example of a possible underlying ideal: “We think that the way we have
behaved in the past predicts how we will probably behave in the future, but the truth is that we can
change our behavior, as well as our future, at any moment.” The example in Exhibit 3 describes how
this might manifest in the classroom.

Exhibit 3. Using Inspirational Quotations to Inspire Students
 Mrs. Kumar shares with her class the quote, “Adversity can lead to great growth.” She asks
 students to think about the principle or ideal that underlies this statement. She gives students a
 few minutes to jot down ideas and thoughts that come to mind.

 Mrs. Kumar then engages students in a whole-class discussion during which students share their
 ideas and thoughts. Several students share similar thoughts, such as “We think that life is best
 when we have no troubles or worries. But when we face situations that challenge us in some way,
 we have an opportunity to become wiser, stronger, more compassionate, and work even harder
 to achieve our goals.”

 As students begin to work on a new academic unit of study and encounter challenging topics,
 Mrs. Kumar periodically reminds them of the quote and encourages them to keep working and
 giving their best.

                                                  5
There are many sources for inspirational quotes teachers might draw on, such as:

   •   Inspiring, guiding spiritual texts from a variety of traditions, such as the Bible, the Torah, or
       the Vedas
   •   Biographies of influential people and leaders throughout history
   •   Online searches, for example, searching for quotes about happiness, health, success,
       friendship, forgiveness, honesty, gratitude, and tenacity
   •   Online sites such as www.azquotes.com
   •   Personal letters or notes from family

A caution: Oftentimes, quotes published online are inaccurately attributed. Therefore, before
teachers repeat a quote and attribute it to a particular individual, they should do their best to ensure
that the quote is accurate and attributed to the correct person.

                                                   6
Help Students Recognize Inspiration Killers
Just as human beings have ideas that generate inspiration, so too we have beliefs that “kill”
inspiration. Such thoughts are limiting in nature. For example, personal beliefs like the following can
extinguish a moment of inspiration:

    •   Something always seems to come along to get in my way of accomplishing big things.
    •   Someone more well-known is bound to be picked for that position. No one knows me.
    •   Others always seem to have good luck.
    •   No matter how hard I work, I’ll probably lose.

Each of these is a limiting generalization in that each raises impediments or obstacles that seem
insurmountable.

A teacher might introduce the concept of limiting generalizations by relating personal stories about
times when a limiting generalization got in the way of acting on an inspiration. After the teacher has
related a story, he or she might ask students to describe limiting generalizations they have had about
their lives. The example in Exhibit 4 describes how this might occur.

Example 4. Introducing the Concept of Inspiration Killers, or Limiting Generalizations
 Mr. Smith is helping students become more aware of their thinking, in particular how limiting
 generalizations or negative thoughts, if believed, can “kill” inspiration and stop us from following
 through on goals and dreams.

 Mr. Smith introduces the concept of “ANTs,” Automatic Negative Thoughts,” a term coined by Dr.
 Daniel Amen (see Amen, 2015). “ANTs” are the thoughts that may arise when we feel sad, mad,
 judgmental, upset, cranky, helpless, and so on, and that can take away our joy and happiness,
 even if only temporarily. After introducing the idea of ANTs, Mr. Smith shares a story about a
 time when his sister, Carole, let her negative thoughts stop her from acting on inspiration.

 Carole had earned a degree in art and design and was excited at the idea of finding a good job and
 starting to work in the field. As she began to look for jobs in art and design, one of the companies
 she was most excited about called and asked her to come in for an interview.

 Although Carole thought the interview went well, she didn’t hear back. As the days wore on and
 there was still no reply, she became discouraged and began to notice limiting thoughts: “Stick
 with something safe and secure. That field is too uncertain, and, besides, I’d have to be an expert
 to get a job in art and design.” Over the next week, she tried to forget about the job she really
 wanted and instead focused on getting just any job. The following week she was offered an entry-
 level job in accounting, something she was not really interested in. A year later, she was still
 working in accounting, a job that paid the bills but wasn’t fulfilling for her.

Teachers should explain that a positive way to deal with limiting generalizations that intrude into
our thoughts is to develop our ability to notice limiting thoughts as just that: thoughts. One action
step to take is to challenge the limiting generalization by asking ourselves, “Why do I think that
thought is true? What if it is not true?” or make an even stronger retort: “That can’t be true! It doesn’t
make sense that everyone has to be an ‘expert’ to get a job in a field they love!” In other words, talk
back to the thought and challenge it.

                                                    7
Engage Students in Altruism Projects
Altruism, by definition, involves doing something for others without any expected benefit to oneself.
When students are engaged in altruistic projects, they are operating from an ideal. Teachers should
discuss such ideals with students, again by using stories from their personal lives. After they have
related their stories, teachers should describe the ideal that was underlying the project the teacher
engaged in. The example in Exhibit 5 describes how this might occur.

Exhibit 5. Altruism Projects
 Mr. Levin and Mrs. Abrams have joined their classes together to share a project they have
 engaged in with students in the past. They explain that the ideal underlying the project is “It’s a
 good feeling to help others feel happy and positive. We all can benefit from uplifting messages.”

 Mr. Levin and Mrs. Abrams explain that the two classes will have shared project time to make
 care packages for families in the community. The families can be neighbors in need, people who
 feel discouraged, a family welcoming a new baby, and so on.

 As students engage in their shared project, they decide that in addition to cookies they will bake
 together, they will create colorful cards, small posters, and notecards with positive messages and
 images, all designed to make others feel appreciated and happy.

After teachers have established the relationship between altruism and ideals involving helping
others, they should invite students to design and implement an altruism project such as one of the
projects described in Exhibit 6.

Exhibit 6. Altruism Project Ideas
 • Find someone in your family’s religious or spiritual group, circle of friends, or neighborhood
    who might want some company, perhaps an elderly person living alone, an individual whose
    spouse has been deployed overseas, or someone who is recuperating after a long illness. If the
    person would enjoy a visit, find a time to visit, perhaps with one of your parents. You might
    bring something simple to share, such as home-baked cookies or a small bouquet of flowers.
 • Offer to tutor a younger student in reading, math, or another academic area that may be
    helpful to the student.
 • Volunteer to work with one of your family members at a food bank.
 • Clean up a local park or outdoor space.
 • See if there are people in your neighborhood or family who are homebound and have not
    been able to take their dogs outside for exercise. You might offer to take their dog for regular
    walks.
 • Help a neighbor with a computer or technology problem.
 • Take a box of snacks to a local fire station.

                                                   8
Foster Gratitude
Gratitude is the act of being thankful or appreciative for people, circumstances, or aspects of one’s
life. When a person expresses gratitude, he or she is viewing life from a positive perspective. Such a
perspective provides an atmosphere in which inspiration can flourish.

The first step toward fostering gratitude in students is to explain the concept of gratitude, perhaps
by using the simple explanation presented at the beginning of this section: Gratitude is the act of
being thankful or appreciative for people, circumstances, or aspects of one’s life. Teachers should
then offer specific examples of people, events, or aspects of life they are thankful for. The example in
Exhibit 7 describes how this might occur. Once students have grasped the concept of gratitude,
teachers might ask them to complete entries in a gratitude journal. A reproducible page from a
Gratitude Journal is provided at the end of this section.

Exhibit 7. Gratitude Journals: The Impact of Regularly Being Thankful
 Teachers across a school have decided to engage in a school-wide “Gratitude Project.” In their
 individual classrooms, teachers introduce the project to students by leading a class discussion
 about what gratitude is, how it can help us in our lives, and what a gratitude journal is. Each
 student is provided with a spiral notebook and given time to decorate the notebook, if they wish
 – perhaps by simply labeling it as “MY GRATITUDE JOURNAL” or by decorating the cover in some
 unique way that represents thankfulness. The Gratitude Journal format teachers provide to
 students includes a space for “My Gratitude Challenge.” Teachers encourage students to write a
 sentence or two in their journals about how they will challenge themselves to use their journals.
 For example, a student might challenge herself to write down two unique things she is thankful
 for every day for 30 days.

 Each day, all teachers in the school begin their classes by sharing one thing they each are grateful
 for. Each teacher then gives students time to write down something they are grateful for. A few of
 the sentiments that teachers share as part of the Gratitude Project include the following:

  •    “I’m grateful for how all of you show respect for others, listen, and try to learn from one
       another.”
  •    I’m grateful for my parents, who are so supportive of my work as a teacher.”
  •    “I’m grateful for our beautiful weather and the ability to get outside and exercise.”
  •    “I’m grateful for my sisters and the fun we have together.”

 At first, students aren’t sure what to write down, but as they develop their gratitude “muscle,”
 they look forward to starting their day by being thankful for someone or something specific.

Teachers should guide students as they begin a gratitude journal. For example, teachers should
explain that if a student is thankful for something like a sunny day or the beauty outside his or her
front door, the student might decide to sit outside and consciously appreciate the beauty of nature,
the sounds of nature, and the feel of the Sun’s warmth on their face. A gratitude journal helps students
focus their attention on the positive aspects of their lives. Simply recognizing positive elements of life
can elevate one’s mood and open us to inspiration. Each day or regularly over time, after students
have completed their entries in their gratitude journals, teachers might lead a discussion about what
students are grateful for in their lives and how acknowledging these things affects their thoughts,
feelings, relationships with others, and their perspective on life.

                                                    9
My Gratitude Journal
My Name ____________________________________________________

My Gratitude Challenge to Myself:

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

TODAY (day/date): _______________________________________

I am grateful for . . .

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Something I could do to show my gratitude or to enjoy something I’m grateful for:

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

TODAY (day/date): _______________________________________

I am grateful for . . .

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Something I could do to show my gratitude or to enjoy something I’m grateful for:

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

         Gratitude is the act of being thankful for people, circumstances, or aspects of one’s life.

                                                       10
Encourage Mindfulness
Simply stated, mindfulness is the process of being aware of our thoughts. There are two aspects of
mindfulness that might be the focus of one’s awareness: self-talk and emotions. Each of these should
be discussed and exemplified for students.

Self-Talk

Although we are rarely aware of it, all human beings engage in self-talk on a regular basis. Sometimes
that self-talk is positive when we say things to ourselves that reinforce that we can handle a situation
that we are facing at the moment. On the other hand, sometimes our self-talk is negative relative to a
situation facing us. Teachers should provide students with an understanding of this phenomenon by
relating personal stories about times when they became aware of their own self-talk. The example
shown in Exhibit 8 describes how this might occur.

Exhibit 8. Self-Talk Example
 Mrs. Kumar is helping students become aware of how their internal self-talk can have a positive
 or negative effect on their perspectives and their ability to deal with the challenges they face.
 Mrs. Kumar decides to share about a time she was aware of her self-talk and the difference it
 made in how she viewed a situation.
 She explains that when she was beginning to think about owning her own home, she noticed that
 her self-talk was positive. She told herself things like, “I can get a good home somewhere. It will
 be so nice to have a place where I can settle down and get to know my neighbors.”
 However, as she began to look for homes and didn’t find one that she wanted to buy, she noticed
 her self-talk became negative, “I can’t buy a house. It’s too hard. Nothing is right. Maybe I’m just
 too picky. Maybe I’m living in the wrong city. Something must be wrong with me because
 everyone I know has a wonderful home that they’re happy to live in.”
 Mrs. Kumar shares that as a result of this negative self-talk, she stopped looking for a home to
 buy. However, over time she realized that her negative internal dialogue was getting in the way.
 She decided to try to put it aside and take a different approach to looking for a home. This simple
 recognition of her negative self-talk helped her to step back and view the situation differently.
 Before long, she found and purchased a home that she liked very much.

Emotions

At any point in time, human beings are operating with a backdrop of emotions. Sometimes these
emotions are positive; sometimes they are negative. The practice of mindfulness includes being
aware of times when we have a strong negative emotional backdrop and times when we have a strong
positive emotional backdrop.

If we notice a strong negative emotional backdrop, it’s a good idea to be cautious about
underestimating what we can do, since negative emotions tend to color our perspectives of our
abilities, our relationships, the likelihood we will succeed, and so on. In effect, a strong negative
emotional backdrop tends to stop us from engaging in challenging tasks. A strong positive emotional
backdrop, on the other hand, can be an impetus to undertake challenging tasks.

Teachers can help students understand the importance of emotional backdrops by relating personal
stories. The example described in Exhibit 9 describes how a teacher might do this in the classroom.

                                                  11
Exhibit 9. The Impact of a Negative vs. Positive Backdrop of Emotions
 Ms. Browning wants to help students better understand how the emotional backdrop they may
 have in different situations can affect their view of themselves, their relationships, and their
 ability to succeed in school. She explains that when she was in college, she had to take a science
 course as part of her basic studies. Even before she attended the first class, she noticed that she
 had a strong negative emotional reaction toward the class. As she pondered why, she realized it
 was in part because she didn’t do well in science when she was in middle school and high school
 and now here she was again, required to take still another science course.
 She noticed that she felt angry about having to take the course. “Why do I have to take this class,
 anyway?” she thought. “It’s dumb. I don’t get science at all. In fact, I hate science.”
 Ms. Browning shares that she attended the course but felt frustration, which led to thoughts that
 she wasn’t good at anything having to do with science and therefore that she was likely to get a
 poor grade.
 She didn’t want to study. She didn’t participate in class discussions or ask any questions, and she
 spent a lot of time doodling while the teacher was talking, instead of taking notes. As she
 predicted, her first test grades were poor.
 Eventually she realized that her negative feelings were getting in the way. She decided to try to
 set aside these feelings. As a result, she spent more time paying attention in class, asked
 questions now and then, and spent time studying. She was surprised and happy when her next
 test scores were much better than her preliminary scores. She began to think, “Maybe science
 isn’t so bad after all. In fact, a few of these topics are fairly interesting.”

Once students have become aware of the power of their self-talk and emotions, they can engage in
mindfulness activities such as the following:

•   Listening mindfully: Have students pay attention to what they say to themselves and what
    they feel in specific situations, such as the following:

    1. You have just learned that the entire school is closed for the rest of the month for teacher
       professional development.
    2. Someone you love is arriving for a long visit.
    3. Someone you don’t care for is arriving for a long visit.
    4. You have received test results from a class you enjoy.

    For each scenario, teachers should ask students to notice particular ways they felt. For
    instance, regarding receiving test results from a class the student enjoys:

    1.   Notice what you say to yourself and how you feel before you see your scores.
    2.   Now notice what you say to yourself and how you feel when you see you didn’t do well.
    3.   Next, notice what you say to yourself and how you feel after you see that you did
         extremely well on the test.

•   Identifying positive situations: Have students identify situations in which they typically have
    positive emotions. Begin by suggesting a few situations, such as spending time with a pet,
    talking with dear friend, and playing a game with a family member.

•   Identifying negative situations: Have students identify situations in which they typically
    have strong negative emotions. Begin by suggesting a few situations, such as learning that
    someone in the family is sick, finding out that a vacation has been cancelled, and hearing that a
    favorite sports team has lost an important game.

                                                 12
DETERMINE YOUR STATUS & GROWTH REGARDING THIS ELEMENT
To develop teachers’ individual skills relative to inspiring students, each teacher should begin by
identifying his or her current level of expertise relative to this strategy by using the scale shown in
Exhibit 10.

Exhibit 10. Teacher Self-Evaluation Scale for Inspiring Students in a CBE Classroom
                       4                 3                2                1               0
                 Innovating         Applying        Developing        Beginning       Not Using
              I engage in all    I engage in      I engage in      I engage in       I do not
              behaviors at the   activities to    activities to    activities to     engage in
              Applying level.    inspire          inspire          inspire           activities to
  Inspiring In addition, I       students, and    students         students, but     inspire
  Students identify those        most students without making I make                 students.
              students who do    appear to be     significant      significant
              not appear to be   inspired.        errors or        errors or
              inspired and                        omissions.       omissions, such
              design alternate                    Evidence for     as not allowing
              activities and                      this level of    enough time
              strategies to                       performance      for the
              meet their                          includes:        activities or not
              specific needs.                     1. I explicitly  communicating
                                                  teach about      the importance
                                                  and cultivate a  and relevance
                                                  growth           of these
                                                  mindset.         activities to
                                                                   students.
Source: Adapted from Marzano 2011, 2012; Marzano & Toth, 2013.

The self-evaluation scale shown in Exhibit 10 has a straightforward logic to it. At the not using level,
the teacher is not doing anything to inspire students. At the beginning level, the teacher is trying to
inspire students but is doing so with some significant errors or omissions. At the developing level, the
teacher is engaging students in activities to inspire them without making significant errors or
omissions. At this level, however, the teacher’s actions are not translating into the majority of
students benefiting from activities designed to inspire them. This occurs at the applying level, where
the teacher engages in activities to inspire students without making significant errors or omissions
and at least a majority of students are experiencing the desired effects. At the innovating level, the
teacher is going above and beyond the applying level by (1) identifying those students who are not
experiencing the desired effects of activities designed to inspire them and (2) making adaptations to
meet their specific needs.

Teachers should start by examining the evidence for the developing level, which involves doing
certain things and being able to describe certain behaviors they engage in. If teachers do not engage
in these behaviors and cannot describe the strategies they use, then they should probably rate
themselves at the not using level or the beginning level. If they are making no attempts at strategies
for this element, they should rate themselves at the not using level. If they are making attempts at
strategies for this element, they should probably rate themselves at the beginning level. If teachers
meet the criteria for the developing level, then they should examine the evidence for the applying
level. Such evidence focuses on things students are doing and things students can describe. If students

                                                  13
are meeting these criteria, then teachers should determine whether they are making adaptations for
specific students who are not benefitting from activities designed to inspire them. If so, then teachers
can score themselves at the innovating level.

To further help teachers rate themselves, we offer the guidelines shown in Exhibit 11.

Exhibit 11. Element IXa. Teacher Guidelines for Self-Evaluation: Inspiring Students in a CBE
Classroom
 Design Area IX: I engage students in activities that help develop a sense of agency and
 efficacy.
 Element IXa Planning Question: What will I do to inspire students?
 Teacher Evidence for Level 2 (Developing)        Student Evidence for Level 3 (Applying) or
                                                  4 (Innovating)
                       I am:                                     Students are:
     • Exposing students to inspirational             • Noticeably engaged in activities
         stories and quotes on a systematic basis        designed to inspire them
     •   Sharing with students what inspires             •   Engaging with community members in
         them                                                meaningful ways
     •   Having students engage in projects that         •   Working on projects that are
         are relevant to them personally                     personally meaningful to them
     •   Engaging students in altruism projects          •   Engaging in activities that increase
         that connect them to something greater              their mindfulness
         than themselves                                        When asked, students:
     •   Having students keep gratitude journals         •   Describe me as someone who inspires
     •   Having students practice mindfulness                them to do things that they might not
                                                             otherwise do
               When asked, I can:                        •   Describe class altruism projects that
     •   Describe strategies I commonly use to               are personally fulfilling
         inspire students                                •   Describe the gratitude and
                                                             mindfulness activities as personally
                                                             meaningful
Source: Adapted from Marzano 2011, 2012; Marzano & Toth, 2013.

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Tracking Progress Over Time
Occasionally score yourself on the strategy you have selected to work on and track your
progress.

Strategy: _____________________________________________________________________________________________
Initial Score: _________________________________________________________________________________________
Goal Score: _______________________________________ by _________________________________________ (date)

                    4

                    3
 Score on Element

                    2

                    1

                    0
                              a            b           c   d           e         f          g             h   i   j

                                                               Date

                    a.______________________________                  f. ______________________________
                    b.______________________________                  g.______________________________
                    c.______________________________                  h.______________________________
                    d.______________________________                  i. ______________________________
                    e.______________________________                  j._______________________________

                                                               15
Strategy Reflection Log

As you practice your selected strategy, record notes about how you are progressing using
the following form.

   Date                                        Notes

                                          16
Teacher Survey for Inspiring Students
Teachers can use this survey to evaluate themselves at different points in time as part of continuous
improvement. Each evaluation is an opportunity to assess progress and then set new personal goals
for improvement. The individual teacher using this survey should select the number on the scale of
1–5 that most accurately reflects his or her use of the particular strategy, where 1 = “no, not at all”
and 5 = “yes, definitely.”

    1. I use inspirational stories to inspire students.

                 1                 2                3                 4                 5

    2. I share personal stories to inspire students.

                 1                 2                3                 4                 5

    3. I use inspirational quotes to inspire students.

                 1                 2                3                 4                 5

    4. I help students recognize inspiration killers.

                 1                 2                3                 4                 5

    5. I engage students in altruism projects to inspire them.

                 1                 2                3                 4                 5

    6. I help students develop a sense of gratitude.

                 1                 2                3                 4                 5

    7. I encourage students to practice mindfulness.

                 1                 2                3                 4                 5

What strategies do you typically use to inspire students?

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

                                                        17
Student Survey for Being Inspired – Elementary School

  1. My teacher shares inspiring stories about others.

  I very much disagree.   I disagree.   I don’t agree or disagree.   I agree.   I very much agree.

  2. My teacher shares stories from his or her life to inspire me.

  I very much disagree.   I disagree.   I don’t agree or disagree.   I agree.   I very much agree.

  3. My teacher shares inspiring quotes.

  I very much disagree.   I disagree.   I don’t agree or disagree.   I agree.   I very much agree.

  4. My teacher helps me notice negative things I tell myself that keep me from feeling inspired.

  I very much disagree.   I disagree.   I don’t agree or disagree.   I agree.   I very much agree.

  5. My teacher encourages me to work on projects that help others in some way.

  I very much disagree.   I disagree.   I don’t agree or disagree.   I agree.   I very much agree.

  6. My teacher encourages me to think about things I am thankful for.

  I very much disagree.   I disagree.   I don’t agree or disagree.   I agree.   I very much agree.

  7. My teacher helps me realize that the things I feel and say to myself can affect how I view
     school and life.

  I very much disagree.   I disagree.   I don’t agree or disagree.   I agree.   I very much agree.

                                               18
Student Survey for Being Inspired – High School

 1.   Our teacher shares inspiring stories about others.

 I strongly disagree.   I disagree.   I don’t agree or disagree.   I agree.   I strongly agree.

 2.   Our teacher shares inspiring stories from his or her personal life.

 I strongly disagree.   I disagree.   I don’t agree or disagree.   I agree.   I strongly agree.

 3.   Our teacher shares inspirational quotes.

 I strongly disagree.   I disagree.   I don’t agree or disagree.   I agree.   I strongly agree.

 4.   Our teacher helps us notice negative things we tell ourselves that keep us from feeling
      inspired.

 I strongly disagree.   I disagree.   I don’t agree or disagree.   I agree.   I strongly agree.

 5.   Our teacher supports us in working on projects that help others in some way.

 I strongly disagree.   I disagree.   I don’t agree or disagree.   I agree.   I strongly agree.

 6.   Our teacher encourages us to develop an attitude of gratitude.

 I strongly disagree.   I disagree.   I don’t agree or disagree.   I agree.   I strongly agree.

 7.   Our teacher helps us practice mindfulness.

 I strongly disagree.   I disagree.   I don’t agree or disagree.   I agree.   I strongly agree.

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REFERENCES
Amen, D. G. (2015). Change Your Brain, Change Your Life. New York: Harmony Books.

Marzano, R. J. (2011). Effective Supervision. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Marzano, R. J. (2012). Becoming a Reflective Teacher. Bloomington, IN: Marzano Research.

Marzano, R. J., & Toth, M. (2013). Teacher Evaluation that Makes a Difference. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

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