Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Challenging All Students

After our assignment on life chances and the pygmalion effect this week I thought this article was fitting. Sometimes I feel that expectations are not always a positive thing in the classroom. Now don't get me wrong, I definitely think we should have high academic expectations of our students, but my post this week is about something else entirely. I teach kindergarten and always have and one of the things I love about teaching this grade level is I have no incoming expectations of my students. I don't know their behavior, their academic levels, their family background, etc. I get to start with a blank slate and I get to spend my year challenging all my students equally. The difficulty though is maintaining that all year and preventing the students from becoming a label. We feel out reports at the end of each school year that are passed on to the next grade level teacher and on these reports we list important academic information, but we also list behavior issues and any other pertinent student information. I can see where these would be helpful to upcoming teachers, but I also see where it could be extremely harmful. The teacher has the potential to form an opinion before having the student...good or bad. What do you think?


  1. This did make me think about our end of the year staff meetings where we take the time to pass on information to the upcoming teachers. I feel like I work with a great group of teachers that keep an open mind about our struggling students. This was a great article to reflect on the pygmalion effect!

  2. Great article! As teachers we always need to find the positives. This really fits in well with the pygmalion theory. I don't think we should know the troubles our students have had in the past. I really think that any prior knowledge will taint that student for us even if we intentionally try not to let it. That thought will always be in the back of our minds. Unfortunately it's often overheard in the teachers lounge.

  3. Great article Angela! Sometimes, we as teachers, fail to realize the effect that we can have on a student, not only while they are in our classroom, but also for years to come. Yes, there are some things that teachers need to know about some kids from the very beginning, however, there are several things shared among teachers that do not need to be shared for the student to be in their classroom.

    I agree with Dave, we need to focus our attention on the positive and build on those things!