When You're at Your Best, Students Benefit

  • ©2017 Battelle for Kids

Watch this video to learn what it means to “stretch your practice” and hear the stories of three teachers from the Ohio Appalachian Collaborative and Ohio TIF projects who have used the BFK•Connect process to improve.


Once we identified the four themes at the center of highly effective teachers' practice, we set out to help other teachers learn from their practice.

Becoming your best starts with discovering your strengths. Everyone brings different strengths, skills, and experience to their job; that's what makes us each unique. A “one-size-fits-all” approach to improvement doesn't work. True development occurs when learning is personalized to an individual's strengths and needs.

BFK•Connect is a process that can be shaped to meet individual, team, or school needs. It starts with identifying strengths and then "stretching" practice into a new dimension of effectiveness.

A Strengths-Based Approach to Personalized Learning

Great educators are made, not born. Every teacher and administrator can learn how to accelerate student learning by using their strengths.

1. Start by Understanding Effectiveness

In the BFK•Connect Framework, each dimension of effectiveness is associated with particular skills and preferences. Our approach to personalized learning includes online courses that can help you understand individual and organizational dimensions of effectiveness and assess your personal strengths. These courses also provide a common language for teams to engage in more meaningful conversations about practice, so that personalized learning becomes an embedded process.

2. Appreciate and Assess

Personal and collective development accelerates when you have the opportunity to stretch from a position of strength toward an area of growth. BFK•Connect empowers educators to assess strengths and create a plan for how those strengths can be leveraged.

3. Stretch Your Practice

What do we mean by "stretch your practice"? Our research shows that highly effective educators are so effective because they intentionally integrate and balance their practice across four dimensions. Stretching your practice means identifying areas that are underrepresented in your current practice and making small changes that support growth.

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