Tuesday, January 28, 2020


“The “am” that we think of as permanent identity might actually be a choice, repeated again and again.”

So many of my students feel helpless and out of control. they think their actions that Define them make them who they are. what they need to learn is that they do have choices. These choices or what to find them and how people see them.

Many of my students have had difficulty in reading or math at an early age. They have had their peers make fun of them and teachers who have called them lazy. When teachers share their professional opinion with parents, parents push their children harder and accuse them of being lazy when they don't succeed. When a student feels he's giving his very best and still not succeeding, it is frustrating to be called stupid and lazy. Many decide not to even try anymore because they feel the outcome will be the same. Again, this is a decision that the student made make. They have a choice to try or give up.

In my class, I want students to redefine their identity.  I don’t want them to accept the labels of loser or failure. I want them to look at themselves differently. I want them to see themselves as courageous and brave. I want them to be willing to take risks and face adversity. I want students to see that they can succeed if they don't give up. I need them to see themselves in a different light and not let other people's perspectives be the final word on their identity.

One way that I can do this is by allowing students to make small decisions in the classroom. instead of always telling them what to do and allowing myself to be the main controller, I need to let students make some decisions about their learning. I can let them choose which assignment to do first or I might let them decide from a menu of projects for assessments. I could also give them an option for homework assignments by giving them two choices.  When students feel like they have some control, they are more invested in the assignment. By allowing students to have some decision-making in their homework, I have seen an increase in the completion of homework assignments. By allowing students to choose which assignment they want to do first, I have seen an increase in the completion of classroom assignments. By allowing students to choose a project for a final assessment of a topic or skill, I have seen an increase in content retention.

Giving choices may make a big difference in the classroom. It can improve classroom behavior as well as classroom grades. Students will have more confidence in themselves and may be willing to try new things. Eventually, learning can even be fun!

Do you let students have choices in the classroom? if so please share.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

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