Thursday, December 19, 2013

High Expectations vs. Realistic Expectations

expectations In Adrien:  Who our students are vs. who we want them to be from Reality 101: CEC's blog for new teachers by CEC, Adrien talks about how she struggles with her high expectations in addition to being realistic about their abilities.

“Bottom line, my students are each wonderfully unique and I cherish each of them. I want and expect the very best for each of them. But how do I balance who they really are with what society and I want them to be? Do I just accept that Student #1 will always be loud? Do I accept that Student #2 will always require special handling for his choices and actions? Do I accept that Student #3 will always just say what she thinks and hope she’s surrounded with people who understand? Or do I stick to my guns with expectations of propriety and maturity?”

I think it is important that we challenge our students to expand their horizons and try to grow. Without taking risks and trying harder tasks, we will never be able to learn what we could do. I need to give my students a safe place to take risks and know that I am there for support. I want them to know that failure is not the worst thing but not trying is the worst thing.

Adrien mentions student #1 who is very loud. I need to look at the student’s weaknesses and seeing how they can be used as a strength. If the student is loud, I need to help the student learn what situations are appropriate for loudness and which aren’t. Yet, there are times that I might need to use this loudness to get the class attention. By looking at this as a strength, it can change how I perceive this student’s weakness.

Adrien also mentions student #2 who has trouble taking criticism. I feel using a rubric with very specific descriptions can help the student check their own work. I would have the student review their own work and fill out the rubric. This might help the student be more prepared for what needs to be done and it may seem more objective than subjective.

Student #3 that Adrien mentions is a student who says inappropriate things or things at inappropriate times. I would come up with a frequency chart that can be filled out on this student. Either the student would carry this with them or it can be taped to the desk. Every time the student says something that isn’t “filtered,” I would mark it on the chart. At the end of the day, I would keep a record of how many marks were made. At the end of the week I would make a graph to show the student and challenge them to have a lower frequency the next week etc. At the end of the month, graph the results to show progress. Many students respond well to the graphs that are a visual representation of their behavior.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with having high expectations for my students as long as they are realistic. We need to help our students grow into what they can be and not hold them to just what they are.

What do you think about high expectations? Please share.

Image: '(Sorry, but this is an) Endless Recession'
Found on

No comments: