Making change happen…a hard row to hoe.

Change is hard to affect. I believe the preferred term is “challenging” but I do mean hard.
At this time of year there appears to be an epidemic of students who just want to give up. They want to drop courses at the halfway point. Perhaps because they’ve realized that effort is required in order for them to be successful and it takes less effort to work your way out of a course than it does to actually learn the material and do the work.
My colleagues and I give students multiple opportunities (revisions and rewrites) as well as multiple different ways to demonstrate their learning (presentations of learning, labs, storyboards, collaborative projects, traditional written assessments and more). We slow down and review material based on ongoing formative assessments. If they are not ready for the test, we try a different way to help them learn.
My colleagues and I are always trying different ways to engage and assess. We get together during collaboration time to see what works and what doesn’t. We attend professional development seminars on a regular basis, process what we have learned from leaders in education, and implement strategies that should improve student success.
We address student mindset using explicit teaching of the concept. The idea that intelligence and ability is not innate or fixed and that effort and perseverance are the keys to success both at school and in life. We model that learning is a life-long endeavor by showing up on time, by engaging with our students, by developing relationships with our students and by believing that all students are capable of learning.
So, as I am of the mindset that effort and perseverance are essential for success in all avenues of life I shall continue in my journey to teach students how to learn, as hard as it is. But even at this stage in my life, I still wish it didn’t have to be quite such a hard sell.


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