“I can explain it to you, but I can’t understand it for you.”
The hardest part of communication is when the sender expresses the message to best of his or her ability but the receiver cannot wrap their brain around what is being shared.
As a part of each week’s lessons, I include an article or example for my students to evaluate. They are then to respond to a prompt about the excerpt. In a recent journal assignment, I shared an article about research writing and the fact that your words should be the star of the paper and the sources are your supporting characters. I was very surprised to read the response of one student in particular.
Their response said that they had not understood their thoughts and words were to be the star. The student only thought they were supposed to use the words of others as they developed their paper.
Even though our first SIX weeks had been about what interested the students and what their potential thesis and counterarguments would be, that particular student failed to understand that it is the author’s words, thoughts, and opinions that make a paper relevant.
I started to reply to the journal entry with an apology for not being clear on the intent behind their research, but then I asked myself,
“Can I make them understand with an apology?”
Continue reading “I Can Explain… – Wise Words Wednesday”
Do you ever worry about kids listening to the lyrics of contemporary music? I do, but sometimes the translations of lyrics by kids makes life worth living.
Luke Bryan is questioning my intents with this post
Our county fair was this week and each of my children invited a friend to go with us. As we drove to the fair, my kids requested Luke Bryan’s “Shake It For Me.” Granted this song is not really controversial but may not necessarily be okay for little kids, as it suggests that the shaking of one’s behind is the way to a man’s heart.
(I still love you, Luke Bryan.)
As the song was winding down, our 7 year-old friend Noah asked, “What’s she shakin’?” Continue reading “What’s She Shakin’? – Funny Friday”
Misunderstanding the Distance – Wise Words Wednesday
Misunderstanding creates painful separation. The most painful part of that separation comes from the fact that it could have been prevented if communication had been clear.
Misunderstanding is bred from hastiness or failure to fully witness what is being shared.
Recently, a student submitted the wrong document for his assignment. I entered a zero in the grade book, wrote a comment for him to send the correct assignment to me (so that I could give points for his actual paper), and emailed him a message about the assignment. He did not come to our next class. He did not respond to my email. Two days later he replied to my comment in our online grading program, “What was the problem with my work? I turned it in. What do you want?”
Clearly, he was angry because he did not understand what the problem was. I replied by copying and pasting my original message and a smiley face.
He never replied. At our next class, he was present and said that I had not explained the assignment. I pulled out the sample document I gave the class, showed the page in the text with the sample we shared, and redirected him to the PowerPoint with the notes and assignment that was shown in class. His response, “Oh, I forgot.”
I was hurt that he accused me of not providing enough information to foster understanding. Never would I want to provide a lesson that created misunderstanding. That is the worst distance between student and teacher. Continue reading “Misunderstanding the Distance – Wise Words Wednesday”