(Credit: Zits 1.27.11)
Do you ever wonder if the students we work with fully grasp reality?
I know I sometimes wonder about this. For example, when I’m called to an alcohol incident do they really think the first place I’m going to look will be someplace other than the closet that is large enough to hold 4 people? (really?) Then, once discovered, do they really think I’m going to buy the story of how they thought that was the elevator?
Other times I will meet with students and we talk about their future, it seems that they are invincible and can do almost anything!
I was not surprised, while teaching middle school, when my students would come up with ideas of grandeur. I would have 12 year old students inform me that they were already accepted into some amazing law or medical program. This was something I came to understand and expect.
I know that when I was finishing my undergraduate experience I had no real grasp on what my life would be like in the ‘working world.’ There is a story of me (which is quite true) that involves me leaving my undergraduate institution after graduation day and going to New York City for 5 days to crash on a friend’s couch to “find a job and an apartment.” Rest assured, I found neither.
I wonder if we should allow our students to ‘fail’ (ie; my NYC experience) or if we should try to convince them that they need to put their ideas in check some. Which of these two routes enable them to learn more? I know it varies by student and by situation. I also know that my student development theory teacher is about to throw a book at me (“didn’t Brian learn anything in my class??”).
I think that each of us will come down in a very different spot in this very ‘gray’ part of our daily challenge when working with students. We want the best for them and we want them to learn for themselves.
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