The A,B,C’s of (Real World) Success | engage2learn

Ryan Pflughaupt

By Ryan Pflughaupt

It was a chilly January evening in a small, rural district in South Texas where community stakeholders gathered to provide district leaders with valuable feedback concerning the expectations they had for their children’s school experience. Also assembled was a diverse group of students who were selected to share with their peers, parents, teachers, community and district leaders honest feedback about their school experience.

Success isn’t measured in A’s, B’s, C’s or whatever degrees you get in college. Click To Tweet

At one point during the student panel, a young sophomore took the microphone and confidently stood up tall, although she was barely five feet, and said, “Success isn’t measured in A’s, B’s, C’s or whatever degrees you get in college.” Her poise and tone was such that it seemed as though she believed this was her moment to finally tell the powers that be how she felt about her high school experience. “No,” she continued, “success is based on how you react in real life.” The young sophomore went on to explain the degree to which schools are failing to prepare students for the real world, because when you have a real job, “You can’t just say what you are going to do, you have to do it.”

You can’t just say what you are going to do, you have to do it. Click To Tweet

At barely 16 years old, this young woman aptly determined what it means to be career ready–possessing the ability to demonstrate mastery. Or, more simply put, the ability to think, create, and solve problems with a moment’s notice.

This young woman’s bold and honest reflection on her school experience is disheartening because, for all intents and purposes, she is the epitome of what we call a “good student.” How is it then that a student having a “successful” K-12 career can feel that she is not adequately prepared for the real world? Unfortunately, this student panel proved that she was not alone in her assessment of the shortcomings of public education.

“If I had to put a number to it,” said one young man, “I’d say the amount of time I am actively engaged in school would be less than 10% of the time.” The assembled community stakeholders snickered, and the young man turned abruptly to correct them, “That’s no joke. The time that I am actually learning in school is less than 10% of the time.” At e2L, we often question whether learners are getting the full benefit of the 20,000 hours they will spend in grades kinder through 12th, and here we have a learner who confesses 18,000 of those hours have been lost on something other than learning.

If this young man, an honor student who was ranked third in his class, can achieve such high levels of academic success with so little attention or daily engagement, then what sort of potential is squandered during the other 90% of the day he is actively disengaged from his learning environment?

What does it mean and what does it take for learners to be future ready? Click To Tweet

Stories such as these are particularly alarming because, for every one “successful” student who is discontented with their school experience, there are 1,000 “unsuccessful” students. Lost in the shuffle of measuring success in grades and GPAs is a greater question: what does it mean and what does it take for learners to be future ready?

It is for this very reason that e2L is on a mission. We work tirelessly with our partners to create space and opportunities for parents, students, and community stakeholders to share with district leaders what they are hoping learners get out of their school experience. It for this very reason e2L embedded community feedback into our bevy of strategic planning and initiative rollout services. Those of us at e2L who have had the opportunity to facilitate and attend these town hall meetings across the nation consistently hear the same thing over and over.

Parents want schools to equip their children to succeed in the real world.

Learners want to be engaged in learning they know is relevant to the real world.

Teachers want the tools and training necessary to engage learners and equip them to succeed in the real world.


What Does It Mean To Prepare Students For Success In The Real World?

As educators, one of our primary goals is to prepare our students not just for academic achievements but also for the challenges they will face in the real world. To accomplish this, teachers need to use effective strategies to engage students and provide them with the essential skills and mindset they need to thrive outside the classroom.

Encouraging a growth mindset is crucial in preparing students for the real world. Teaching them to embrace challenges, persist in the face of setbacks, and see failures as opportunities for growth is essential. By instilling the belief that abilities can be improved through dedication and hard work, teachers empower students to tackle difficult problems and navigate obstacles in the real-world.

Engage Students Through Authentic Learning Experiences that connect classroom knowledge to real-world contexts. Encourage them to apply what they’ve learned through projects, problem-solving activities, or community service initiatives, enabling them to see the practical relevance of their education. 

Encourage Critical Thinking and Creativity. Encourage students to question assumptions, analyze information, and develop innovative solutions to problems. Foster independent thinking and creativity through open-ended discussions, debates, and hands-on activities. By nurturing these skills, teachers empower students to adapt, innovate, and thrive in various real-world scenarios.

Develop Communication and Collaboration Skills. Encourage students to express their ideas clearly, listen actively, and work collaboratively with their peers. Incorporate group projects, debates, presentations, and public speaking opportunities to enhance their communication skills. By nurturing effective interpersonal skills, teachers equip students to work productively in diverse professional environment settings.

Emphasize Digital Literacy. Proficiency in technology and digital literacy is essential for real-world success. Integrate technology into your teaching practices, equipping students with the skills needed to navigate digital platforms, evaluate online information, and communicate effectively through various digital media.


What Does It Take For Learners To Be Future Ready?

We need to develop long-term public school success with data-informed, evidence-based solutions tailored to create a culture of support and growth for teachers, leaders, and overall school culture.

Since 2011, engage2learn has partnered with public schools nationwide
to create real, sustainable growth through talent development,  smart professional learning, and our technology platform that bring out the best in every school and district leader, instructional coach, teacher, and students—with the data to prove that it's working.

By focusing on making teachers, leaders, and overall school culture better, engage2learn ensures that our solutions are dedicated to enhancing their capabilities and fostering growth. We provide data-informed, evidence-based solutions that create a culture of support and growth for the educational community. Our goal is to bring out the best in every school and district leader, instructional coach, teacher, and ultimately improve overall school culture, all supported by tangible data demonstrating the effectiveness of our approach.


Smart Professional Learning

engage2learn (e2L) has refined a highly effective and efficient coaching system that builds internal capacity and fuels equity, growth, and engagement in public schools. The Growe Coaching Model is a time-tested, research and evidence -based coaching conversation model that provides a reusable, scalable framework for professional and personal growth for educators.

  • Focus on Evidence
    A coachee’s evidence of growth functions as their “proof” they are, in fact, growing. Without evidence, growth is subjective at best. 
  • Scalable, Job-Embedded Support
    Continued support through multiple coaching touches is key to the success of coaching efforts, and the Growe Coaching Model is designed to help coaches facilitate targeted conversations that deliver scaffolded support for educators. This helps teachers to increase their proficiency in key skills while strategically decreasing the intensity of coaching that is provided.

Ready to partner with e2L? Get Started.

Correlate Growth to Outcomes Data

Once the data is connected and correlated, school and district leaders can see how effective their support programs are at improving the outcomes that matter the most. This approach helps leaders make data-informed decisions about which initiatives to continue and invest in, as well as which ones to strategically discontinue.

Data-Informed Growth Coaching Collaborative

At e2L, we recognize the paramount importance of connecting growth and outcome data to our coaching programs, including the Data-Informed Growth (DIG) Coaching Collaborative. This 12-week research-backed and evidence-based coaching assessment and certification program is specifically designed for principals, assistant principals, principal supervisors, instructional coaches, central office staff, and any education leader responsible for growing their teams. By participating in this collaborative and certification program, to achieve proficiency in facilitating data-informed growth coaching conversations, ensuring participants become highly skilled at the following:

  1. Facilitating data-informed goal setting aligned to job-embedded competencies.

  2. Using data to identify needs and resources to accelerate growth, goal attainment, and plan development.

  3. Providing constructive, welcomed performance feedback and guidance.

  4. Using e2L’s integrated instructional coaching platform to keep all your data in one place.

  5. Leveraging education analytics and growth data to measure progress and achieve desired outcomes.

Developed from 10+ years of validated research conducted by esteemed professors from Rutgers University and Arizona State University, the DIG Coaching Collaborative focuses on the most effective coaching and mentoring actions in public education. This research has been proven to lead to educator growth, teacher retention, and increased student outcomes. By participating in the DIG Coaching Collaborative, you are investing in your professional growth and your ability to positively impact student success.
Reserve Your Spot in a Session today.

School Improvement & Transformation

The e2L framework for school improvement is rooted in the best available research. Our approach is to become thought partners to create effective frameworks for your educators.

At e2L, we understand that school improvement and transformation go hand in hand with our commitment to data-informed growth and the ultimate success of students in the real world. We ensure that coaching practices, data-informed growth, and the development of real-world skills are seamlessly connected to enhance student outcomes. Let's explore how the e2L framework for school improvement can help your school cultivate a culture of continuous growth and create a pathway to real-world success for your students.

Step 1.  Determine Area of Greatest Need
Determine Area of Greatest Need: Collaborating closely with district leaders, we identify specific campuses, grade levels, and/or subject areas that require the greatest improvement.

Step 2. Deploy Laser Team of Coaches
We then pair a laser team of certified coaches, leveraging our coaching programs including DIG, with teachers in these areas of need. This team offers targeted interventions and helps build internal capacity within your existing staff.

Step 3. Focus on High-Yield Best Practices
At e2L, we transform your current talent by providing focused, actionable teacher coaching based on high-yield best practices. These practices equip teachers with the essential tools to master rigorous, standards-aligned instruction while maintaining a strong focus on student learning outcomes.

By aligning school improvement and transformation efforts with DIG and our coaching programs, we ensure a seamless integration of coaching practices, data-informed growth, and real-world success for students. Together, we can shape a brighter future for your school and students.

Ready to see dramatic growth in your school district or campus? Get Started.

e2L's integrated all-in-one technology coaching platform, GroweLab, allows public schools to document and manage all their professional learning, coaching for educators, and support in one place while leveraging advanced growth analytics to correlate student and staff outcomes data.

Preparing students for success in the real world is a complex task. e2l plays a pivotal role in equipping educators with the necessary knowledge, skills, and strategies to navigate this evolving landscape. Through smart professional learning and correlating growth outcomes to data, e2l empowers educators to effectively prepare students to become adaptable, resilient, and successful individuals.