I taught myself to ski –
the first time I went to ski, 2 friends were trying to help, but they really wanted to get out on the slopes themselves — so after an hour, they skied away….and I pretty much taught myself. And though, at the end of the day, I was able to “ski”……I cannot tell you how many things I was doing that were incorrect, unsafe, & would need to be corrected. And for 4 years, I skied “my way” before I realized I should ask for help….and took lessons.
This past week, I have been struggling with something. It truly was impacting every moment of my day….causing discomfort, frustration, irritability……and mostly because I was not asking for help. This morning, I decided to read the directions…..and realized I had been saying “THIS DOESN’T WORK” instead of “JEN DOESN’T KNOW HOW TO MAKE THIS WORK” — and after 15 quick seconds of reading the instructions — the issue was fixed.
And I think both these examples are happening daily in our classrooms — not just with students, but also with teachers.
There is the assumption of
#1….they can teach themselves — and get it right.
#2…if they don’t ask for help, they don’t need help.
Our students are NOT digital natives — but also our teachers are not digital phobic — both have a lot to learn, a lot to share……but there needs to be guidance, instruction, encouragement, and support.
Perhaps this blog post is spurred by the fact recently I read over 30 proposals for an upcoming conference — and I continually saw examples of information constantly being thrown at the audience but never ever much time to play, to learn, to break it — and learn to fix it, to question, to try, to fail, to wonder, to push the boundaries, to examine, to understand.
We — as educators — have to remember we were called to instruct. I don’t mean to lecture, to dominate, to preach — but we were called to instruct and not to assume that “lesson taught = lesson learned.” Our students MIGHT be using their devices daily, but we have to work with them on sharing ways to use them wisely. And we might plop down a document camera, a projector, an ipad in a classroom — but we can not assume that immediately the teacher will grasp all the opportunities (and also issues) that are now at their fingertips.
We — as learners — have to remember we are called to ask for help. I don’t mean to sit back and whine that “we don’t get it” or “this is too hard” or “when will I ever need this”. And I also don’t mean to assume that what we think we know how to do, we are doing correctly. But it is important to stop and ask for help — and be willing to listen, to learn, and then to share with others.
I believe there are way too many people out there (students and teachers) who are struggling to figure this all out on their own or not knowing how (or even that they can) ask for help.
I believe that we are forgetting that there MUST be a time of learning, of trial and error, of allowing (and encouraging) baby steps, and struggles and successes, and that each step of growth is SO IMPORTANT to the next opportunity of learning…….
And that we, as educators and also as learners…..
And that our students, as educators and also as learners……..
Do need help — and also need to speak up and to ask for help.
Just my thoughts today.