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Of Updates and Epiphanies

Yesterday, I was frustrated. Today, I feel a bit better. I was able to connect with the student I was referencing and learned more information about the whole scenario. Then, I corroborated the information by talking with one of the trusted adults that the student talked with on the day when all of this occured. After discussing it with a few other colleagues, I think I have come to the proper decision. This needs to be addressed in a much bigger manner than I can handle alone. My colleagues agreed with me. 

Today in class, I had a major epiphany. My students need a swift boost of motivation. Some people call this a kick in the rear. As I was handing out the assignment, I realized that I have been babying my students far too much. They truly need to learn how to read instructions and learn for themselves. It’s not so much that they need to learn how to learn as much as it’s that they need to learn how to problem solve and trudge their way through difficulties and challenges. I see this in other classes, but I never realized how it could impact my own classes. I think the phrase, “Figure it out,” is going to be my new go-to saying. So, the focus for next week will be independence and self reliance. 

Administrators and textbooks talk frequently about ensuring that students have clear instructions. What they are neglecting is the fact that figuring out how to interpret instructions is a part of life. We are never going to be able to tell our students how to face every problem that arrives at their doorstep. However, we can teach them how to face problems in a systemic way by giving them the mental tools to face any challenge big or small. I guess finding the balance between letting students learn to swim by throwing them into a pool and giving students a floatation device is a piece of the art of teaching that people talk about. 

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