March 27, 2017

When is it OK to tell students not to bother?

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Many of the ideas expressed in Bergeron’s pieceĀ are valid – but I can’t help but feel that the author glosses over the fact that school, while absolutely necessary for some people’s goals, isn’t necessarily easy for everyone.

Pourquoi sommes NOUS, les enseignants, ici ?

Because school probably came pretty naturally for us. Because the things that fascinated us – philosophy, history, literature – naturally led us into teaching. Because we’re comfortable (perhaps only comfortable in) an academic environment.

Yes, encourage students to reflect on their purpose, both short and long term. Yes, encourage those who wish to pursue non-academic paths. But don’t assume that those who struggle – whether to get the reading done, hand work in, get to class, or stay awake – do so out of disinterest or misdirection.