Wednesday, January 02, 2008
I always used to say to kids "You are smart, you can do this if you just try a little harder." I don't say this as often as I used to because I realize some kids are trying as hard as they can and they can't do what I am trying to get them to do. I wonder how it must feel to hear these words over and over again and know inside that you are doing your best, but your best isn't good enough. I still try to make my students feel smart. I will not let them know that I realize some of them will never succeed. I don't want to be the one to give up on them and I don't want them to give up on themselves. I just don't tell them any more that if they work harder, they will get it. I don't know what to say to some of these kids. I wish I did. It is not like I have never been faced with obstacles I could not overcome. I never learned to swim or ride a bike and don't think I will ever be able to. There is a part of my brain that will not allow it. I could not master physics, no matter how hard I tried and I will never be any good at applying makeup to my face. I don't want to hear the words "try harder." I've tried as hard as I can and have never been successful at certain things. I don't want to hear "You are a good athlete." I think I am a decent teacher, but no matter how much I try, no matter how many different approaches I use, how many hours I spend tutoring, I will never get some of these kids to succeed. I know "I can't" and hearing that "I could if I tried" only makes me feel worse. I would like to be able to teach kids the subjects they can do well in. I believe kids are good in different things and can succeed but that not everyone can do everything . I want to teach them the subjects that will help them believe in themselves. I want to teach them the subjects they need. I'm tired of teaching kids who don't understand that 1/2 and 2/4 are equivalent fractions how to reduce algebraic fractions.