Several Followers have emailed and have asked why I close with "Best Effort." I have learned, and believe, that everything we do is based on the effort we put into it. If we, and our students, want to learn and be successful we must put in our best effort. Best effort includes time, practice, focus, effective strategies, resourcefulness, using feedback, and determination.
When learning something new we must use effective effort to build capacity. Example: Learning to ski, we must put incredible effort at the beginning and as we become better at skiing we put in less effort because we have built capacity. For our students, learning any piece of content requires a lot of effort at the beginning, e.g. learning to read, memorizing the multiplication tables, learning the Periodic Table, Pythagorean theory, etc...
I no longer say to students "Good Luck" on a test, project, presentation, sport, etc... I always say, "Best Effort". Luck means outside influences lead to success. Luck, good or bad, applies to the lottery, and we all know how that works. Luck does not apply to learning and has no place in the classroom. "Best Effort" means success will be the result of the effort put into the test, project, etc...
I hope you will think about the language you use with your students in reference to effort and success.
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