A Challenge to All Educators

I have a very simple challenge for educators.  Think deeply about what you believe about every student’s learning potential.  Complete this sentence and post it.

“I believe…”

  1. I believe that each student’s potential is unknown and unknowable, so I will not set limits on their potential by treating them as anything but fully capable of learning and understanding high level math. (I also believe that much of what is inflicted on students in school – arbitrary timelines imposed on all students, grades, lack of opportunity to redo and resubmit, low expectations for some, etc. – crushes the intrinsic motivation that we are all born with. I want all people to have the opportunity to learn without limit, so I am working tirelessly to create change in this direction. 🙂

  2. I believe that all children and adults can find and see the joy and fun in the world and, of course, in mathematics.

    1. Rick, thanks for taking on the challenge. Well said! I like how you connected all students to opportunities to loving math!

  3. I believe that students are waiting for teachers to show them: the beauty of Mathematics, the aha moment when understanding dawns, and the intrinsic motivation that comes from persevering and finally solving a challenging problem.

    1. Excellent! Way to take up the challenge, Jeff. I like how you described “the beauty of mathematics” and how you related it to intrinsic motivation. You have captured and connected many very important ideas here. Nicely written!

  4. I believe that students today are completely different from 10 years ago and the challenge is how in the week, the month, the semester, to harness meaningful learning outcomes, but yet still encourage free exploration.

    1. Ann, thank you for taking the challenge. You have clearly identified something very important here. There is great power in the free exploration that you describe here. Thank you for thinking this through and for posting your thoughts. I like to revisit this question often: What do I truly believe about students?

  5. I believe that all students have the right to be taught in a way that helps them learn, and that all students have the ability to learn math, given the proper tools, environment, and suppport.

    1. Thank you for taking the challenge, Wendy! Your words and ideas are very important. It is so important to reach all students. Well stated!

  6. I believe that students need a patient person who believes in them, practice, and work that’s challenging to develop the confidence to take on any topic.

    1. Great response, Stacie! Your words are very important. I like how you’ve captured the importance of surrounding our students with patience, support, challenge, and opportunity. Thank you!

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