I have been working on getting some training organised. Yesterday I realised it is for 375 teachers in 105 schools. I wrote about it on day 2 and day 4. Clearly it has been foremost in my thoughts and night terrors … Sorry, dreams.
Today I am almost there. A major milestone has finally been reached and things are a little easier from here (touch wood, throw some salt over my shoulder, not superstitious but can’t hurt, right?)
What a sense of relief and a sense of achievement! This feeling is uplifting. To solve a complex problem and get things done in an tight timeframe.
Which made me ponder how do I hold onto this feeling? How do I describe it? Or better still, how do I teach students that hard work is its own reward?
The only way is to give students complex problems that take time to solve. The rewards of perseverance can really only be appreciated if you persevere. The satisfaction of solving complex problems can only be savoured by those who solve them. I have always said that I work well under pressure, is this because I crave this type of feeling? Is this the same for everyone? Do any of my students feel the same way? Will they?
I admit, it took me a little time to work it out. I was the student who invested the minimum effort required to reach a slightly above average results. I used to call it “bang for buck” studying. Then in 2nd year uni my brain switched to “if this is worth doing it’s worth doing well”. My epiphany came from being challenged. It was the first time I was challenged as a student. Prior to that I could put in minimum effort for good results. Finally I had to work hard to achieve results I valued.
Are we challenging our students or encouraging them to be mediocre? As I begin to teach in a selective online school I must remember to challenge my students who are probably smart enough to do very well using “bang for buck” studying. Complex problems solving is the key.