Teachers often complain, “How can I possibly do more when I don’t have time to do what you already gave me!”  It’s a valid and common problem.  With so many new standards, curriculum, and initiatives, teachers are overwhelmed and fed up.  Too much is never a good thing.

How can we decrease teacher stress and still increase student rigor?  

Throw out what doesn’t work.  

Teachers, including myself, use teaching strategies, lessons, and routines that are familiar, feel comfortable, and connect directly to the lesson at hand.  We sometimes attribute student failure to outside factors and then try to overcompensate with every tool in our teacher toolkit.

After a recent training with the San Diego County Office of Education on Making Learning Visible, I left with a new mantra.  Stop stressing and start tossing.  After viewing John Hattie’s “Influences and Effect Sizes Related to Student Achievement”, I realized that many of the things I spent hours on, weren’t helping my students learn.  Using the list as a guide, I was relieved to finally have a reference point.  It’s impossible to keep doing everything.  Therefore, why waste time on what clearly doesn’t impact students.  Throw things out to make room for what works.

“John Hattie developed a way of ranking various influences in different meta-analyses related to learning and achievement according to their effect sizes. In his ground-breaking study “Visible Learning” he ranked 138 influences that are related to learning outcomes from very positive effects to very negative effects. Hattie found that the average effect size of all the interventions he studied was 0.40. Therefore he decided to judge the success of influences relative to this ‘hinge point’, in order to find an answer to the question What works best in education?’


Hattie Ranking: 195 Influences And Effect Sizes Related To Student Achievement