Touchstone Gaps

Jan.24th, 2017

Sometimes, there is a huge general ‘gap’ between students and teachers, and this applies as well to touchstone moments, like the ones recently blogged about. I think an obvious base for a gap is that teachers and students have different interests, so a breakthrough to a teacher may seem like a boring old rambling drunk to a student. This gap can be hard for teachers to compensate for. And by compensate, I mean, make interesting with some sort of activity. There are only so many ways you can make a math problem interesting. We all know the apples and oranges thing, and lets be honest, once you hit 5th grade and your teacher said “You have 25 oranges…” you tuned the next ten minutes out unless you actually liked math, or if you were like me, you were thinking “Why in the world would I have 25 oranges? I can’t even afford one orange…” Another gap I think about between teacher and student touchstones is that teachers are required to teach certain things and only given a number of ways that they can teach it, especially in public schools and high schools. So when a teacher finally understands what a certain curriculum means and how they are supposed to go about it they do, they present it to their students after weeks of tedious planning, and maybe two students out of 30 understand what was being taught, or only ten of them actually absorb what the teacher has said and are trying to process it, bless their little hearts you can see the wheels smoking up stairs sometimes. The teacher is going to notice how well the students took in this particular lesson and make their own adjustments, but there’s that gap. Where the teacher thought perfect sense was being made, two students fell asleep from the effort of processing information they didn’t understand. So, here we are a teacher standing on one side of a big pit and the student on the other, the gap has become real. At the bottom of the pit is the lesson that was taught, now they need to work together to build a bridge to get over the pit, or somehow both walk in the same direction to meet in the middle on the outside, to attack the lesson from a new focal point.

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