We need to stop telling students that things are impossible.
We need to help them find the possible in the impossible.
I am always reminded of a story that a friend told me about when he was a job coach. This high school special education student with mental disabilities wanted to be a doctor. That is all he wanted to be! My friend knew that there was no way this boy would ever become a doctor. But instead of telling him that his dream was impossible, he questioned the boy further. What was so special about being a doctor? Why did this boy want to be a doctor? After a lengthy discussion, my friend found out that the boy really wanted to wear a white jacket! My friend helped find the student a job in the cafeteria (wearing a white jacket) and it was the perfect job for him! Instead of just telling the boy that his goal was impossible and try to distract him by offering other jobs, my friend did further investigation.
This is always in the back of my mind when I think that my students’ goals are unrealistic. I need to figure out the right questions to ask so that I can help make them realistic and meaningful to all of the students.
How do you help your students find the possible in impossible? Please share.