RMS Weekly Event Calendar
February 6 - February 10
What's going on this week!
For the past few months we have talked numerous times about high expectations for our students as well as ourselves. I received the Mindsteps newsletter and the author is writing several posts that deal with beliefs about high expectations and the four myths associated with them. I thought these were too good not to share with you.
Everyone agrees that high expectations are critical to students’ ability to thrive in school. We all accept the idea that when students encounter teachers with high expectations, they work harder, achieve more, and sustain their efforts over time. Yet, while we can agree that high expectations are necessary, we are not as clear about how to develop or sustain them.
So, we resort to platitudes like “I believe all children can learn,” and “no-excuses” policies that mandate success for all students, while secretly we sometimes worry that maybe there are some students who can’t learn or can’t succeed at high levels.
There is a lot of baggage attached to the notion of high expectations. We believe that we should have them but we have all had that student in whom it was difficult to believe. We’ve all had that moment where we wondered if our students would reach that lofty goal we set or that was set for us. We’ve all wrestled with doubts about our students and our own ability to reach them and we’ve all felt the accompanying guilt those doubts bring. After all, it can sometimes feel that there is no greater sin than to have low expectations.
There is perhaps no issue in education so fraught as the issue of expectations. We all publicly agree that high expectations are important but privately struggle to develop and maintain high expectations especially in the face of the persistent challenges plaguing education, students, and our society. It’s not that developing and sustaining high expectations is impossible The problem is that our beliefs about high expectations are rooted in four persistent myths. Unless we uncover and discard these misguided notions about high expectations, we will never truly develop them. Over the next few posts, I’ll be sharing four of the most persistent myths about expectations as well as how we can overcome them.
In all these myths, one thing is clear...
High expectations are about you, not your students.
If we believe that we can help students, we pull out all the stops to make sure that we do. If we think that a students’ needs exceed our ability to help them, we tend to give up or lower our expectations to goals we feel we can help them achieve. In every case, our expectations say more about who we are and what we believe we can do than they do about what we believe about our students.
While it is true that our students tend to rise to the level of our expectations, it is also true that we rise to the level of our own expectations. If we believe that we can reach a student, we pull out all the stops and do everything within our power to make sure that he is successful. If we are confident in our ability to teach our subject, we share ownership of a student’s success or failure. If however, we tell ourselves that there is no way to help these students, we stop trying. If we are not confident in our ability to help students, we lower our expectations to goals that we feel that we can comfortably achieve.
In this way, low expectations say more about what we think of our own abilities than they do about what we think of the students’. When we say that we don’t think the students can achieve a goal, what we are really saying is that we don’t think that we have the skills to help them make it. If we want to develop and maintain high expectations, we must shift our focus from our students to ourselves.
Mindsteps Newsletter - January 2017
Monday, February 6
- No known activities
Tuesday, February 7
- No known activities
Wednesday, February 8
- Half-Day PD Session - Faculty PD session will begin at 1:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 9
- Code Red Drill - 8th period
Friday, February 10
- RtI Paperwork Due - If you are referring a student to the RtI team, please submit your paperwork to Mrs. Warhurst and Mrs. Odom.