Sunday, July 7, 2019

Expectations for Student Success

I came across this meme on social media.

I think this is an important reminder for teachers regarding their students. I have worked with several teachers who Day One decide who will be successful in their class and who will not. One colleague met with a student's mother the first week of the school year and told her that her son would be retained that year. Sometimes I think the expectations we have of our students are pinned on whether or not they become the students we want them to be. Rather than giving them an opportunity to show what they can do.

I want to tell you the story of my dog. She was adopted from a shelter and when I brought her home I figured out why she probably ended up there. Her behavior was very challenging. She had severe anxiety and would just pace and pace like a shark. The only time she really settled was when I placed her in a crate at night. If I sat on the floor or in the grass with her she would nip at me. As a matter of fact she nipped all the time. I had a doctor's appointment and they asked me if I was being abused because of all the bruises on my arms.

I sought help. My vet recommended a service that comes to your home, which I thought would not only be less stressful for her, but also they get to see her in the regular environment. The couple talked with me as Ruby paced around. She ended up lying down in the corner. The trainer said "she never like crawls up in your lap and cuddles with you?" No. "I don't think she will ever become the kind of dog you want her to be. I think you should return her to the shelter." I was appalled. I felt like they were giving up without even trying. They were convinced they couldn't turn her into the dog they thought she should be.

Well I think there was a reason she ended up with me. I took her to a total of 4 trainers before I found one who understood her. This trainer taught me strategies I could use with her. She taught her agility training which Ruby excelled at. And today, she absolutely is the dog I wanted her to be. She is a wonderful companion. She's still a tough girl, she still doesn't like to cuddle. But she protects me, she makes me laugh and is always happy to see me when I come home.

Love them for who they are, not what you wish they would be like. That's something I'm going to remember with my future classes!

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