Wednesday, December 7, 2016

This is Hard for Me

This afternoon we had an impromptu open circle titled "This is hard for me." We sat around and talked about what is hard for us. Most children were very honest. I heard things from math concepts to writing to reading. Several mentioned focusing, following directions, and time management. I admitted I am not a fan of teaching social studies. Sorry to all you history buffs out there but reading about the past is not interesting to me. I explained to the students that I am trying to find ways to make that subject more interesting to us all, which can be challenging. I also shared that I have learned that learning from our past helps us make a better future. I showed them a picture of a floppy disk and asked what it was or what it did. Students said the following: a weight measurer, a computer, a laptop, an IPad case, a USB, a DVD player, a chip, a hard drive chip, and a disc. One students shared he thinks his grandma had one and it was called a something disc. I shared what it was, what it did, and how far we have come. Did any of you think that saving things on a floppy disk would eventually become saving something called a cloud? 

I was proud of our students for being very honest in this talk. I feel like once you admit something is hard for you the weight falls off. We have developed a close and trusting community in a short time because I am not sure how many adults would admit in front of other adults what is hard for them, yet these agents went right for it. I am glad students got to hear other students talk, as now they realize they are not the only ones who think something is hard.

We made two generalizations about our class today.
1. Most students face challenges.
2. Most students persevere when confronted with a challenge.

Not one student in here has told me they cannot do something. They are using the growth mindset vocabulary I am trying to teach. That was evident this afternoon. We reviewed growth vs. fixed mindset, thinking about ways to think rather than be stuck.

I then showed them a Ted Talk. A young girl challenges us all to face what is hard for us and help our children become better adults. We want them to grow up to blow us away, as she comments.

I welcome you all to watch this talk and have conversations with your children about what is hard for them and tell them what things are hard for you. It is an enriching conversation to have!

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