Responsible Students

The first round of tests was last week. Some students did great, and I got to tell them, “Ok, see, you’ve proved that your brain is, in fact, capable of this. So stop saying you’re bad at this!” Other students…have a growth opportunity. But that’s not the good thing.

The good thing is that, when we talked about it today, a lot of students took responsibility. I asked them to think about why the test went the way it did, and they said things like, “I didn’t study enough.” “I wasn’t honest with myself about how little I knew.” “I tried to memorize how to do the problems instead of understanding the ideas.” And then they acted on those things and paid more attention, asked more questions, and sat in better places in the room. One student even said, “I know I can do this if I’m committed enough…I wasn’t last year.”

I know there’s a balance between what’s my responsibility as the teacher and what’s their responsibility as the student, and I’m thinking through my part in the test. But it was so good to see students take responsibility for their part and then act on it.

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