Over a month ago, I started to draft my follow-up blog post to expectations, but stopped shortly after beginning. It wasn’t because of my expectations or because of the realities; I simply had so much on my mind that I didn’t know where to begin. Having my mind filled to the brim with thoughts can sometimes be a good thing, especially when my fingers just type away as my brain spews out BS for an assignment I procrastinated. But that particular day, I couldn’t even form complete thoughts before my brain jumped to the next thought.
As you may have guessed, I gave up on finishing the “Realities” post that was to follow the expectations post, but I didn’t accept that until now. I have avoided opening WordPress because I knew I had that obligation to finish. For some reason, I convinced myself that if I moved on and wrote about a different topic, I was failing. So instead of persevering through the incomplete and scatterbrained thoughts to complete Realities, I just avoided it.
Over a month has passed without a single post from yours truly. Here I sit, contemplating why I did that to myself. I had other topics about which I wanted to write, but I didn’t allow myself to move on.
Now that I’m really thinking about it, the future-teacher/lifelong-student in me sees a connection to high school.
I made myself feel obliged to complete the ‘assignment’ I had given myself, and that made me not want to do it. I enjoy writing blog posts and I enjoy talking about my vacation, but I did not enjoy struggling to put my thoughts into words. If I had moved on to another topic, words would have flowed from my clicking laptop keys as if they were writing themselves.
So how does my crazy brain connect this to high school students? Hear me out.
Not all students are going to love all subjects, but every student has some passion they love. Take math, for example. Countless students dread math homework, and even more dread math projects. Projects are overwhelming at any age, and most students get that first thought of “I don’t even know where to begin!” But what if there was a way that they could switch topics (as I did with my posts) to something that interests them more; something they enjoy and are passionate about. Granted, the math will still be the focus of the project, but what if the problems all have to be solved as if there is a theme? Solve an equation for the distance a football is thrown. Figure out how to draw an animal or shape on the graphing calculator. The math is still there, but the students’ interests can play a role as well.
I guess this is all just a silly little rant about making learning fun, but I really think it will influence my style of teaching. Kids don’t want to do homework that they have no interest in, so why not try to make some assignments interesting to them? Just by making a test star wars themed, or quoting passages from Harry Potter, or discussing scores and stats from the latest high school basketball game, kids may find the desire to want to learn.