05 Jun

Aside from a few exceptions, do you believe ALL students can achieve proficiency within a course time frame? I feel badly even asking this question, but I wrestle with it sometimes, and I want to be real. I’ve only had a few students in my teaching career who I feel failed because they truly did not have the skills to show proficiency rather than just being lazy, giving up, being apathetic, etc. The superteacher inside of me blames myself for these students’ failures. Clearly if I’d done the right things, taught with more mixed modalities, designed stronger lessons, implemented more peer tutoring, etc, etc, etc, those few students who failed my class could/would have passed. This particularly gets to me when I’m teaching at the college level. At this point, most students are self-motivated. If nothing else, at least the money they spend on tuition typically motivates them to pass. The realist inside of me forgives superteacher and battles with the idea that some people just do not have the ability to achieve a needed level of proficiency, but do I really believe that? I’m not teaching advanced astrophysics or anything. I’m talking Algebra at various levels. I’m not sure who’s right, superteacher or realist, but both live inside of me.

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Posted by on June 5, 2010 in education


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