Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Climbing Academic Mountains



My students often hear me tell them they have huge academic mountains to climb in 4th grade. The grueling mental work of reading and writing can be exhausting, and yesterday I experienced this reality first hand. I spent the day with the educational expert, Allison Zumuda. She's written books and published articles in academic journals, and she has an extensive vocabulary full of really BIG words. Everytime she comes to Denton to help our curriculum writing team, I often experience self-doubt and uncertainty. You see, she pushes us. She nudges. She forces us to grapple with big ideas. 

I am a submissive learner. Tell me what to do or show me an example, and I'll perform. If you want me to create from nothing or chew on problems with messy, ambiguous solutions, I get bogged down. My confidence falters. My sense of self-efficacy fails. During yesterdays workshop, I felt defeated and frustrated. I wanted to know the right answer, and I wanted to feel like I was hitting my target. The thing is, the target keeps moving. There are no easy answers. Learning is a difficult journey, and I have my own mountains to climb.

Compliance is easy, but thinking is hard. 

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