Rigor is creating an environment in which each student is expected to learn at high levels,
each student is supported so he or she can learn at high levels,
and each student demonstrates learning at high levels (Blackburn, 2008).

Saturday, February 11, 2012

How Do You View the Potential of Your Students?

One of the most powerful lessons I learned from my students was the importance of my vision. I needed to see them as more than who they were at that moment.

    Just as butterflies are not in their final beautiful state when they are born, or when they are caterpillars, or when they form into a chrysalis, so our students are not in their final beautiful state when we are teaching them. Think about that for a minute. Where are the students you teach? Are they newborn? Are they caterpillars? Or are they inside a chrysalis? What does that mean to you? If you think about your students as butterflies in the making, how does that change how you view them? One of the most difficult things for teachers to do is to keep our expectations high, especially when our students’ actions make us think less of them. There were days my students challenged me to come up with any positive thoughts about them, but those were the days they needed me the most. I found they needed me to believe they are butterflies when they were most acting like worms! What about your students?  Any of them need you to not only believe in them, but to believe FOR them?
Please don't forget to vote on the right.  What is the next resource you would like to see me write?


  1. Love this. I used to always think of my students this way. It was almost like I could see the person and student they could be and then we'd work toward that. I felt this was particularly true with their writing where I'd so often see these wonderful kernels of goodness (sometimes brilliance). It hurts more, though, when our kids don't meet those expectations. Now I work mainly with teachers and it is, at times, quite similar!

    1. It is hard when they don't meet our expectations. I continue to find that students (and teachers) not only need us to keep believing in them, but sometimes they need us to believe for them!


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