Teachers sometimes have bleeding hearts. We can’t stand to see our students flounder and fail. Well, let me nuance it a bit; it’s partly our bleeding hearts, and partly our ego…we know the students’ performance will reflect upon us, for better or for worse, so we want to self-protect.
Joanne Jacobs recently posted her thoughts on the question, “should I let kids fail?” Check it out; it’s good stuff.
In one anecdote, a technology teacher intervenes to rescue slacker students who procrastinate on an engineering project. Reasoning that she wants them to “experience success,” she can’t stand by while they twiddle their thumbs.
That story begs a question, “did the students experience success?” and “what lesson(s) did they learn from the teacher’s actions?”
The anecdote made me remember a time I failed. When I was younger I was heavily involved in Tae-Kwon-Do. I failed the test for black belt 6 TIMES.
Six. Seis. 6…
I remember crying so hard after the sixth failure. I eventually passed legitimately without someone else bootstrapping me, and that black belt meant the world to me. Its value would have been incredibly diminished had the instructor lowered the bar so I could pass or if he somehow would “not have let me fail.” Also, those failures taught me something that no amount of “experiencing success” could ever teach me.
I failed six times, and I turned out allright.
If you liked what you read, please consider subscribing to my RSS feed (RSS button at top right in the sidebar) and/or stumble it on Stumbleupon (S.U button found below).