Tuesday, January 19, 2021

It’s All in Your Perspective

I never really hated the cold weather until we have spent a few months in Florida where cold means turning off your air conditioning. We came back home to South Carolina and I have the heat on full blast. When we were in Florida, we still wore shorts and t-shirts while the locals wore long pants and coats. Since we’ve been back home, I’ve worn layers of clothes, wool sweaters, wool socks, and a jacket but I still feel cold! Yet everyone here says the weather is mild for this time of year.

It’s all in your perspective.

This also applies to the classroom. As a teacher, I feel that many skills should be easy for my students and I take a lot of things for granted. I need to remember what it is like for a new learner and plan as if everything is going to be hard. I make sure that I include every step even if I think the student already knows how to do that step. This way, if they don’t know the step, it will be there to help them. If they do know the step, they can skip it and go on to the next step.

Another way that has an impact is how I introduce the new skill. I let students know why they are learning this skill and how they will use it in real life. I let them know that I believe they can do this easily if they follow the steps. Plus, I let them know that if they have any difficulty, I will be there to help them. I set the stage for their success. The belief that they can succeed can make a big difference in their mindset. If they believe they can do it, they will put a bigger effort into it. If they believe it is too hard for them, they will give up before they really give it a try.

During the learning and exploration stage, I encourage my students to help each other. They are seeing this lesson from a different angle than I am. Sometimes they will have a helpful suggestion for someone else that worked for them. I might have overlooked something because I am able to do the task but as they are learning it, they might see a step that I had left out. They also might see a shortcut that might help someone else.

Allowing different perspectives can help everyone be successful in learning a new skill.

How do you allow for different perspectives? Please share.

Photo by Anika Huizinga on Unsplash

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