Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Coaching students vs. productive struggle

I was asked recently, "how much did you coach them?"  My answer, "a lot" and I was unapologetic as I think they got to where I thought they could, but they weren't getting there on their own.  There is a lot of talk about productive struggle and I agree with the concept, unless it leads them without a full understanding of where you want them to go.  Two boys got involved in a conversation about characters in a story and their character traits, but the color of their skin was a barrier.

I started with a simple question, "who is more like you?"  This final video is cut down from about 8 total minutes of conversation.  Now let's be fair, I am a principal, I can have 8 minute conversations with 2 students and not worry about management issues.  The teacher in the room was taking care of that.  I just wanted to push them, as I thought they could get there.  I hope these young men can transfer the idea that someone that may not look like them can actually act just like them.  At the very least who they want or think they are.  If they think about this conversation one more time in a moment of decision or to self check themselves, my job was done.  I just will never know... The beauty and horror of being an educator.

Also pay attention to how each both thinks they look, in comparison to the characters in the book.  Interesting and revealing.  These two boys are amazing thinkers!

The final result after much deliberation.  One character is more like me, although he looks a lot less like me...  Wow!  self-actualization achieved!


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