Teachers Helping Students Achieve Greatness!

Want to learn how to encourage achievement in your students?


By: Laura Smart

Can students achieve greatness on their own? Within Petty (2009) there are three pain principles to achieving greatness. 67% of the worst days for students were connected to setbacks that they felt were in their way (Fullan, 2013). Are these setbacks always the students fault? Greatness within this post refers to the students reaching their fullest potential.  The following three principles will explain how educators can assist their students in achieving and seeking greatness.

1. Achievement is reached through setting goals

Young people are expected to develop knowledge on current digital tools, learn by independently finding new information, having the ability to apply new learning to their life, and creating direction to their own learning through developing independence (Prensky, 2010). Check out Education Week Teacher’s article on setting successful goals. Setting individualized goals will assist learners in reaching success by developing self- initiative.

2. Achievement is gained through feedback

Feedback needs to be provided in multiple ways that the learner can receive constructive criticism and positive feedback on what they did well. Using tools such as the five listed on life hacker . Tools that could be used are screen-o-matic, Jing, Screnflow, Camtasia, and CamStudio. Educators can also look at informED  for tips on how to provide good feedback. Good Feedback gives students the confidence and success to develop their learning through a positive growth.

3. Reconceptualization of learning

The role of the teacher and students has changed drastically. The chart below shows the changes in the roles for both the teacher and student (Prensky, 2010):

Teachers New Role’s Students New Role’s
  • Asking the right questions
  • Act as a guide
  • Monitor students’ progress
  • Giving students guidance
  • Putting material in context
  • Explaining one-on one


  • Finding their passion
  • Using whatever technology is available
  • Researching and finding information
  • Answering questions and sharing their thoughts and opinions
  • Practising when properly motivated
  • Creating presentations
  • Applying their knowledge to help their society




Fullan, M (2013) Pedagogy and change: Essence as easy. In Stratosphere, p 17-32. Toronto. Ontario: Pearson

Petty, G. (2009).  John Hattie’s table of effect sizes.  In Evidence-based teaching (2nd Ed) (pp. 60-70).  Cheltenham, UK: Nelson Theories.

Prensky, M. (2010) Partnering. Teching digital natives. Partnering for real learning , 9-29. Thousand Oaks, CA” Corwin Press.



Author: laurasmartblog

K-12 educator, passion for 21 century digital tools, equity and special education, M.Ed student @uoitmed

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