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Self-Efficacy Starts with Self-Reflection: Teachers First!

We threw a party—No. One. Showed. Up.

Well, not exactly “no one,” but we were missing most of our international teaching partners. Nancy Ruther, who was leading the online training, looked stunned. The USA teachers seemed uncomfortable and maybe just a little impatient. Since I was the “set up guy,” the teachers probably thought I was looking for an escape button on the Zoom app for myself! Mentally, I ran through my check list wondering where everything had gone wrong…

Changing course, Nancy and I jumped on WhatsApp to contact the missing teachers. We rescheduled the training for an hour later. We used the extra time to support the teachers who were present as they designed their fledgling CLICK projects.Training went smoothly. Problem solved.

What was the disconnect?

Right Zoom link? Reminder email? Correct time on the invitation? No power outage or earthquake in Mexico, thank heavens. Simply put, humans made mistakes. [Alright. It was just me.] I did not know that Mexico had changed from Daylight Savings Time [DST] on 30 October. A full week before we switched in the USA. Naively, that information was not taken into account.

Why the confession, Dallas?

Well, it occurred to me that this snafu illustrated one of the best things about the CLICK system. As teachers go through the training, one thing becomes clear: Not only do they learn how to CLICK, they are experiencing how someone new learns to CLICK. They are modeling the behaviors they will ask of their students.

The modeling of expectations and behavior by the teacher for the students does not happen by accident. Active self-reflection is required for modeling to be useful. How did you learn during the training? What was helpful? What was frustrating for you or other teachers in the group? What were your achievements/failures? What would you do differently? These types of questions will help you model creative problem-solving for your students as they learn.

If I had investigated earlier about DST outside my own country, I might have headed off the problems we faced that day. But I didn’t. Instead of dwelling on what we couldn’t change, we acted quickly, switched to a different form of communication, and cleared up the misunderstanding. Your students will almost certainly face and need to solve problems in similar situations. After training, you’ve been where they are. With self-reflection, you can translate that authentic personal experience to model what creative and constructive learning can be. Students will respond to the collaborative shared environment inherent to a CLICK project and “demonstrate creative solutions to problems” and and “improve their self-efficacy and optimism.”[1]

As teachers, we always strive to help our students become reflective lifelong learners. What better way than to model that same behavior?

[1] The cited study was done on the manager-employee relationship, but if you read it as “teacher-student” instead, I think you will agree that there are some applicable lessons. HSU, MICHAEL L. A., SHENG-TSUNG HOU and HSUEH-LIANG FAN. "Creative Self-Efficacy and Innovative Behavior In a Service Setting: Optimism As a Moderator." Journal of Creative Behavior, vol. 45, no. 4, 1 Dec. 2011, pp. 258 - 272.

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