• Derek Stoppels

Leading Them To Water

As a teacher, it's my goal to lead my students to water. I can't make them drink, but I can bring them there. And on our journey to the water, it's my job to make them thirsty. I meet my students wherever they are, and we set out on a journey to find water. Once we get there, if I've done my job well, my students are just going to want to drink and drink and drink. Water.


In my view, the traditional model, students meet the teacher and the teacher passes out glasses of water and expects the students to drink. Even if they're not thirsty.


And then, when it's time to evaluate students, I say, "Okay, show me how thirsty you got?" And the students show me how much water they drank. Traditionally, the teacher says "Okay, who drank the water?" And the students show the teacher their cups.


That's not to say that with my way of teaching the responsibility is all on me if a student doesn't do well. Sure, maybe I didn't give them enough of a reason to drink the water, but at the same time, they have to do enough to survive. And traditionally, it's not like the teacher didn't bring the students enough water, they just maybe didn't give them enough reason to drink.


I want my students to be thirsty, I don't want to bring them water.


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