RMS Weekly Event Calendar

February 27 - March 3

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What's going on this week!

As we look at the third "High Expectation" myth in the Mindsteps Newsletter, it deals with many of the concerns we have expressed this year...student motivation. It is very easy to make assumptions about our students and attribute their lack of success or unmotivated attitude on many things. However, as you can see below, it is much more complicated than just an assumption. I hope you enjoy the reading!

The Attribution Myth

The third myth about high expectations is the attribution myth. The attribution myth has to do with cause and effect and it happens when we attribute the effect of student behavior to the wrong cause.

Sometimes, we wrongly explain a students’ motivation or behavior. Other times, we over simplify a cause by omitting steps or ignoring other factors that contribute to the cause of an event.

For instance, we commit the attribution error when we think that students don’t study because they are inherently lazy or when we think that students don’t achieve because they come from low-income families or broken homes. Both problems are much more complex but we over-simplify them and create a cause and effect explanation that ignores other critical information.

Most low expectations for students are fueled by the attribution myth. When we come to students with preconceived false notions about intelligence, ability, and how students learn and then jump to conclusions about what students can or cannot do based on these notions, we have committed the attribution error.

The truth is much more complex. There are several reasons why students succeed or fail in school and without taking time to really examine the evidence, it is difficult to attribute student success or failure to any one thing. And, because each student is different, it is dangerous to make assumptions. There are impoverished students who achieve at high levels. Some students’ parents read to them every night of their lives and they still struggle in school. Those “lazy” students in your class may work extra hard in someone else’s classroom. Simply grabbing a pat explanation rather than taking the time to really understand our students focuses us on looking for solutions to solve the wrong problems.

To avoid the attribution myth, we can’t be quick to jump to conclusions about students. We must interrogate every explanation we make for student behavior, test every assumption, and consider multiple alternatives instead of jumping to conclusions. Even then, we cannot fully know what may be behind our students’ behavior. What we can know – the ONLY thing we can know for sure – is what drives our own behaviors. The more we focus on ourselves and what we can do for our students, the less we will fall for the attribution myth.

Mindsteps Newsletter, February 2017

Monday, February 27

  • RMS Softball vs. Wilson - Away - 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, February 28

  • NAEP Test - The NAEP test will be given to a small group of 8th grade students.
  • RMS Softball vs. Moulton Middle School - Home - 4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 1

  • Student Support Meetings - Teachers will meet with Mrs. Warhurst during their instructional periods (math, science, English, social studies)
  • SADD Meeting - Cafeteria - Students will meet during their mentoring times.

Thursday, March 2

  • RMS Softball vs. Wilson @ H.D. Lee - 4:30 p.m.
  • RMS Baseball vs. Sulligent @ Winfield - 5:30 p.m.
  • RMS Baseball vs. Winfield @ Winfield - 7:00 p.m.

Friday, March 3

  • No known activities