As teachers, we like to think that if we can just persuade our students to put a little more effort into their work, they will reap the rewards in terms of their learning, says Amy Forrester. But what if we’re all wasting our time?
The first parents’ evening of my NQT year was when I first made a mistake that I would continue to make for a considerable proportion of my early career as a teacher. As each student sat down, we eventually got to the “what next?” point of the conversation – and that’s when it happened. Without fail, for every student, I told the lie of “effort”.
“You need to put in a bit more effort.”
“You are doing well but you really need to put the effort in over the next few months.”
“Just a bit more effort from you and I am sure you will get that mark.”
It took me years of teaching to realise ...