Dealing With Student Frustration

“Frustration, although quite painful at times, is a very positive and essential part of success.”

– Bo Bennett

Okay so one thing I am really trying to focus on is student frustration.  Taking an inquiry type approach produces some feelings and reactions that my students do not usually relate to learning.  The frustration of having to try something only to have it not work is something my students are not used to.  My students are accustomed to instant solutions and are really challenged when the problem tests both their understanding and patience.  Experiencing frustration and successfully working through it is a valuable lesson and I think it can really help my students fall in love with learning.

I’ve been trying to learn as much as I can in order to help my students deal with their frustration. I think the  thing that has worked the best is providing my students a forum to share what they are experiencing.  At the start of the year, sitting down and spending five minutes talking about the challenges certain problems presented allowed my students to see that other students had the same frustrations.  As the semester has progressed we have become better at dealing with our frustration individually.  My students have been honest with me about their frustration, something that has helped them get accustomed to the process of working through it.  Creating a community has allowed my students to not only be vocal with their frustrations but it has also allowed me to gain their trust.

Having to deal with frustration and experience how frustration is an important part of learning has helped my students and I really look at learning from a different perspective.  I am loving the challenges that inquiry presents not only for my students, but myself as well. 

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My Visit to the Calgary Science School

Today I was able to go and observe a morning at the Calgary Science School.  Calgary Science School is a charter school with a mandate to present education in a way that is new and research based.  Spending the morning at the school really showed me how my philosophy could be applied in a school setting.

Here are some of the things I observed (sorry the video is so long, I tried to shorten it, there were just so many exciting things going on):

There are a lot of great ideas on the Calgary Science School Connect! Blog and because they’re so great…the ideas are free!