It’s Not About Me

Photo by dcJohnOne of the things that I am unexpectedly facing in my job as a teacher is that not all of my students are going to pass. This may sound naive, but honestly, it never occurred to me that any of my students would fail.

There are going to be two types of students that struggle with math: those that truly have a hard time with it, and those that will simply not do the work.

I have very few of the first type. These students try really hard, do all the work, and still don’t quite get the concepts. These students I can help. I can give them extra support. I can point them to other resources. I can arrange for tutoring.

I currently have many students of the second type. So many that my progress reports were dismal. I would estimate that at least 80% of my students have outstanding work. And while I understand not wanting to do the homework, I know for a fact that the majority of the students who did put forth the effort understand the concepts solidly.

As a friend reminded me recently, teaching is not about me.

Education is about the students. It is their efforts that will matter in the end more than mine. That doesn’t mean I can slack off. What it means is that I can lead these horses to water, but in the end, it is their decision to drink.


Photo by dcJohn

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