Why do some children do better at school than others?
Students get better marks when they have a great teacher.
Of course teachers are not the only factor influencing how well students do at school, but great teachers make a difference above and beyond those other things.
You can take comfort in the knowledge that teachers make a difference. After all, it’s why most of us became teachers in the first place.
But why is this a secret? It’s not.
The secret is that while some teachers make a huge difference to how much their students achieve at school, others make hardly any difference at all.
Therefore, those wanting to know how to improve student performance, need to understand that the largest factor (over which we have some control) that impacts on student achievement is the quality (or lack thereof) of the individual teacher in front of the class.
How To Improve Student Performance
By 38 Percentile Points
You can help by:
- being a great teacher yourself
- assisting other teachers (who are willing and able) to become great
- by encouraging those who are not willing or able to improve to find another career
On average, a mediocre teacher helps their students to progress about 14 percentile points in a single year. Given that children typically advance about 6 percentile points as a result of just growing one year older, this means that a mediocre teacher only added 8 extra points of value.
This stands in stark contrast to the impact a great teacher has on their class. On average, a great teacher helps their students to progress 52 percentile points per year. That’s 32 percentile points higher or 4 times more impact than their mediocre colleagues.
Put Great Teachers In Front of Every Class
Other research shows similar results, where students with great teachers progress three times as fast as those with poor teachers.
Not all teachers are effective, not all teachers are experts, and not all teachers have powerful effects on students
There is more difference between individual teachers within a school, than there is between schools or even school systems.
Knowing how to improve student performance is only the first step. Student results won’t improve without action.
If you want to have an even larger impact on how well your students do at school, take a few minutes to read about What really makes a great teacher?