What should we expect from our students? What do they expect from us? Has any teacher had that conversation with their students? This thought just hit me, because I can’t remember a time when I’ve asked my kids that. I think, though, that this question could be posed two ways: What DO you expect from your students? What do YOU expect from your students? I feel like this is the same question but because of the words emphasized, they mean two different things.
DO you expect and accept the preconceptions that maybe only half of the class will complete their homework? On time? At all? Do you just gloss over the fact that you won’t get the same results from everybody?
Do YOU expect more? What standards are your students held to? Do YOU expect EVERY student to complete work at a high level, regardless of learning style and assignment?
I always tell my students that I expect the world of them. I expect every single one of them to do their best and that there is no, “I can’t.” There is no, “I quit.” My philosophy has always pushed me to find out why a student cannot do something and help them discover that they can do anything. Lofty expectations? You bet! But what would the students expect of us? Wouldn’t they expect the same?
What if only half of the teachers at a school didn’t complete their education? Maybe that’s a bit far-fetched, but then wouldn’t the students not have the proper education they’re deserved? If we do not expect great things from our students, they will also not have the education they’re deserved. We must expect our students to be able to accomplish anything. We must hold them to high standards.
Because that’s what they expect of us.