Yesterday I had the pleasure of having two students pop by after school for a bit a help. I say “pleasure” because it’s pretty rare that students come by for help. To top things off, it was a Friday afternoon that leads into a long weekend! My students wanted just a bit of help with a problem we were working on in class, and they were accompanied by a couple of friends who patiently waited while we talked.
After working through the problem, one of the students smiled and said something like, “Ah, I get it. I didn’t understand it in class.”
I responded with, “the point is that you don’t have to get it the first time, but that you learn it sometime, eventually.”
Her friend, who I have never met before, looked at me and smiled. “Too bad that’s not how school works.”
I have an idea. How about the educational community shifts to SBG/LOBA grading schemes and we stop using marks for punishment or as timeline markers on how fast or slow something is learned? Kids shouldn’t feel defeated because they didn’t get something right the first time. If that’s how life worked, no one would know how to ice skate, ride a bike, or play Minecraft.