Listening to students I have come to a conclusion that we as educators do not listen to our students. (I am guilty of this as well). We think we know what is best for students since we as teachers sometimes see them more days out of the year than their parents, have a college degree, and even ‘have lived life longer than you’. I myself heard these things all the time as a student but never looked at why this might be said.
The students I teach, while they are teenagers at points in the day, are aware of a lot more than I think some people know. They can see the staff in-fighting, they can see the favoritism, and they can see when we are faking it. That’s where we need to draw back the curtain and hold a conversation with our students.
Teachers talk a big game about giving students the power, but its a gated power, we let them make choices but they are choices we already made and narrowed down stifling their creativity. Or we just haven’t taken the time to teach them the concept that we are building upon assuming that they have already learned it somewhere else.
Take the time, you might get further and learn something yourself.