1703 North Beauregard St.
Alexandria, VA 22311-1714
Tel: 1-800-933-ASCD (2723)
8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. eastern time, Monday through Friday
Local to the D.C. area: 1-703-578-9600
Toll-free from U.S. and Canada: 1-800-933-ASCD (2723)
All other countries: (International Access Code) + 1-703-578-9600
In this course, you will have the opportunity to deepen your knowledge, hone your self-reflective skills, and ultimately, “build your capacity for success.”
“Building your capacity for success.” This phrase packs quite a significant wallop—both in education and in life. For this course, the term capacity is not viewed as a static measurement—such as how much capacity one’s heart has for blood—but rather, as a dynamic element of improvement—how much capacity one’s heart has for love (to continue this metaphor). Our capacity for success, like our capacity for love, knowledge, skill, excellence, learning, and growth, is limitless. And as we increase that capacity, we simultaneously increase our ability to affect the children with whom we work in positive ways.
So what makes a great teacher successful when others fall short? Rigorous, ongoing self-reflection. Expertise does not come naturally. Cultivating awareness, developing a skill, honing the ability to accurately assess, and improving our responsiveness takes time, effort, energy, and a hefty dose of self-reflection. In the words of the famous John Dewey, “It’s not the doing that matters; it’s the thinking about the doing” (quoted in Archambault, 1974, p. 321). The difference between learning a skill and implementing it effectively resides in our capacity to engage in deep, continuous, and rigorous thought about that skill.
This course has been carefully constructed for you, the classroom teacher—no matter your years of experience or amount of expertise. In the six modules that follow, you’ll be given a chance to take charge of your own learning and follow one of four differentiated paths on the journey to grow your personal capacity. For most of us, education isn’t just a job or a profession or something we do during the school year. It’s a calling. And we’re not called to mediocrity. We’re called to make a difference. To impact the future. To change students’ lives. To help our young people become the amazing, wonderful human beings they’re meant to be. And our charge—to maximize our influence through continuous improvement—is a calling we must heed. Let’s spread our professional wings, grow as reflective practitioners and skilled educators, and fulfill the destiny of that calling.
Authors of the best-selling ASCD book Building Teachers’ Capacity for Success return to explain why your effectiveness in the classroom is directly connected to your ability to self-reflect on your teaching practice and use the reflection process to get better at what you do. Pete Hall and Alisa Simeral take you on a journey through the reflective cycle and outfit you with tools and strategies to increase your power to make purposeful improvements.