Sep 22, 2011

“At Least, I’m Here”

Yesterday, it got the better of me. It wore me down time after time. it leaves me asking, “How can we change the culture where students thinking showing up is good enough?”

As students showed up late, they told me, “At least, I’m here.” As students decided not to get their work done, “At least, I’m here.” That was the extent of their expectation of themselves.

I have a problem with that.

We have a culture in school, and I don’t think it is just this one, where we’ve celebrated the showing up enough for students to think that is all we expect of them. But worst of all, they begin having only those expectations of themselves. They begin, or in some cases continue, a race to the bottom.

Maybe that’s what it is all about? We need to understand the education revolution better to recognize that showing up matters little; That getting an education does not have to be at a central building, at a pre-determined time.

Maybe we frame learning so that the least they can do is get their high school diploma?

Maybe the least they can do is learn something they are passionate about?

Do I really care if they are in the room, if they are learning? Maybe the ubiquity of learning opportunities throughout their lives is our lowest expectations?

Maybe this is a call to look at the nature of attendance?

I have higher expectations of my students, so how do we change a culture that seemingly just wants them to show up?

1 Comment

  • Well, this may be my bias talking, but honestly I fully believe the school system has FAILED miserably, at least, in the Applied stream. For instance, in grade 10, I was in Applied English. The class started off really well. We learned many things that revolved around English, but the last month of class we played Call of Duty on the new flat screens. Now, I know what you’re thinking, students over-exaggerate on everything, but I am not lying. It got so bad I stopped going to class because I really wanted to learn, yet the teacher stopped teaching. Now as teachers get younger they become “push-overs” and let the students rule the class.

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