A few days ago I had to park in a public parking station. I made my way up to the fourth floor where are parking attendant pointed to the spot he wanted me to park in. The particular spot he chose for me was located near a down ramp, so in order to make a quick exit when I left the carpark, I decided to reverse into my car space. As I started reversing, I was startled to hear the parking attendant tapping on my window and loudly shouting instructions to me on how I should navigate this particular spot. I instantly felt frustrated. Having always been an excellent driver, and nearly always choosing to reverse park because I own a large 4WD, I am very confident in handling my vehicle to get it into a car space! The problem was that this carpark attendant didn’t think I could do it. He didn’t let me “have a go” and he certainly didn’t provide any encouragement as I tried to ‘have a go’. He didn’t wait to see if I actually could reverse park, he just assumed that I couldn’t and boldly gave me instructions.

How often do we treat our students like this? How often do we assume they can’t do something, when perhaps they actually can? Do we give our students opportunities to “have a go” and do we provide encouragement whilst they are trying?

This week’s assignment:

Whatever class you have today, whatever you’re teaching, let your students simply “have a go” and watch what happens. Resist the urge to do it for them or to give them instructions along the way, and most importantly, encourage them as they’re trying. You never know, they might be able to reverse park all by themselves!

Enjoy the journey,

And more importantly,

Enjoy the moments.