Rising Needs

Rising Needs

At the beginning of 122, you asked us what a teacher was. People tossed around answers and for the most part, you agreed with them. Except you shied away from the idea that a teacher should inspire a student. Something to hope for yes, maybe. but not necessarily a norm. But it should be. Students are young and stupid. Too many of them don’t know what they have and what they’ll need. They need teachers to inspire them and challenge them to go farther than they would. So much of a student’s life is writing just for the grade. And it shouldn’t be like that, teachers should try to make students look past that. To reach for more than just a grade.

Nearly every story so far has spoken of a teacher. For the most part, it’s in a negative light. Too much work, too hard, impossible. The words of people who have given up on reaching. But those who talk of a teacher that pushed them, there’s almost a light.

Which is why students need inspiration. Something to strive for.

Especially in a world where answers can be found instantaneously. The idea that we need to learn permanent information is a bit fuzzy. Those of us without a clear goal and the motivation to get there, won’t. At least not honestly.

People are raised in groups, and often that means that they are used to at least a minimum amount of support. Most of the stories failed to get that support early on and had an impact on how they view learning.

Kids need to be able to strive towards something. But that takes just the tiniest bit of understanding and acceptance from people outside of a group. How can they learn this discourse if their mentor is unwilling to induct them?

On  the other hand, looking at some of the stories make me frustrated at the narrators. In part because there are the few that only see one answer to their problems and fail to try to talk to the ‘bad’ teacher. Maybe it’s just parts of the literacy that they left out but if that’s the case, then it’s frustrating not to hear the whole story.

One story, a girl’s entire class was struggling. And yet there was no mention of going to the teacher and asking him to slow down or anything. She contradicts herself in saying that she needed help, realized she was on her own, and that she couldn’t just hope for the best and do it on her own. She describes him as a good teacher before saying that everyone was struggling and he would assign too much homework for one night and expect it the next day.

Maybe he was a frustrating teacher that never listened to the students but then how could he be defined as a good teacher?

It’s an interesting story that leaves me unsatisfied.


One thought on “Rising Needs

  1. Hi Cali, I love that you remember something from the first weeks of last semester, and, also, that you’re critical of me, now, for it. This piece speaks eloquently of the need for teachers to recognize and meet learners’ personal needs in the classroom. I may have to rethink what it is I need to offer beyond designing experiences for students to learn from.

    You emphasize the personal need of inspiration in this post. Are there a cluster of related personal needs that combined, might better help us understand what inspiration is and how to enable it in different kinds of learners?

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