I was running JOLLY GRAMMAR training over the last 2 days and honoured to have very passionate dedicated Darwin teachers attending!
We were discussing expected levels children reach and ways to measure these levels. I was telling them about what I have done this term at our centre. Basically I took a deep breath and told ALL the children I expected them to jump up a level and reach for the stars this term! The amazing thing is the kids caught “the ball” and they are already running with it. Kids love challenges!
A young teacher (an acting Principal) told us she had doubled the levels her children were expected to reach. She told us she had come from a school in another state where the expected levels were exactly DOUBLE of the ones expected at her present school. So she looked around, thought, “these kids are just as capable” and set new levels. And- guess what? The kids got there! She has doubled the expected academic outcomes in her school by simply believing in her pupils and setting the bar at a higher level.
I was SO impressed. There are many stories about how expectations determine educational standards and we all know it is true but somehow we still accept less than kids can give. This insults children and I truly believe we need to insist on excellence.
I don’t believe, “Do it again,” is a soul destroying statement. Often it means we know they are capable of better work. I am not a fan of putting too much pressure on children but I do believe that we should ALL give of our best. Accepting less than their best is actually quite insulting for children. They WANT to go for gold. They are just not sure of the route and might need to be adjusted in their tracks!