River Deep, Mountain High

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Apr 04 2012

Confidence and Competence

In my previous post, I wrote:

“I hope my students recognize that I care about them despite, or perhaps due in part to my frustrations with the system. I’m angry because I can’t do more for them, not because I feel compelled to do more. In the grand scheme of things, I don’t care much whether they can balance a chemical equation, I’m more concerned that they develop the confidence to know that they can be competent if they put the work into it, though it won’t be easy.”

I was elated to see the following vision put forth by a group of concerned Texas Superintendents, courtesy of Diane Ravitch’s Bridging Differences Blog:

“We envision schools where all children succeed, feel safe and their curiosity is cultivated. We see schools that foster a sense of belonging and community and that inspire collaboration. We see learning standards that challenge, and intentionally designed experiences that delight students, develop their confidence and competence, and cause every child to value tasks that result in learning. Ultimately, we see schools and related venues that prepare all children for many choices and that give them the tools and attitudes to contribute to our democratic way of life and live successfully in a rapidly changing world.”

Now, this is a vision I can definitely get behind. I see the benefits of standardized testing, but at the same time, I think you can increase the longevity and quality of teacher candidates by creating schools in the mold of this vision. Relatedly, I had a great discussion about this with homeroom today, which I’ll expand upon in my next post….

Bottom line: good things are happening, 17 school days until the state science test, and my kids are responding well to the increased rigor in the classroom. Hopefully, it lasts!

In the meantime, here’s an interesting read on the inverse relationship between confidence and competence, which brings up the saying: “the more you know, the more you know you don’t know.” I will keep all my musings about applying this principle to my recent encounter at Popeye’s to myself…and Twitter ;-P

2 Responses

  1. I agree 100%. Inspiring curiosity in my students was central to my (failed) vision. Someday, people are going to stop trying to teach you but you can never stop trying to learn!

    • Love it! –> “Someday, people are going to stop trying to teach you but you can never stop trying to learn!”

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About this Blog

Remove Barriers, Raise the Bar

Region
Mississippi Delta
Grade
Middle School
Subject
Science

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