I’ve heard many comments like these over the years. I’m sure I’ve said them as well. Why? When we say things like this, we are probably doing some or all of the following:
All of that is well-intentioned. We should find ways to put students at ease and to acknowledge that difficult work lies ahead.
Often, we are also saying much more about ourselves than our students. And, as we do that, we are taking away their chance to grow self-awareness and perseverance.
So, what can we do instead? Here are some possibilities:
Here’s the bottom line: The more exciting we make the work, the more students will rise to our high expectations. So, go ahead—assign very challenging work. Tell kids it’s challenging, sure, but make sure they see how wonderful it is as well!Read More