500 Words At A Time: As A Teacher, Part 11


There is something about a student who takes pride in their work that stands out to me. Even if the work is wrong, incorrect, or not up to my standards, a student who is willing to say, “This is my best work or close to my best work,” that gets me to work harder for them. I’m this way with people outside of class as well, make a good faith effort and I will go farther for you than someone who tosses in the towel, does not try, or wants other people to do the work them.

Which is why when confronted with conflicting evidence I get disappointed. I shouldn’t be disappointed, after all these are not my children nor my students, I am an observer with some expertise to share. However, I have seen good and bad work. If I had only seen the bad then I would not think anything of what I have seen.  But I have seen the good and when I see the bad I wonder to myself, what happened?

Being a student myself I understand not wanting to do an assignment. There are more assignments than I can count that I wanted no part in. Yet, I put forth some sort of effort. More so, when I put forth effort even if it was not the effort expected of me, I stood by my choices. And when offered a chance to do better, I took most of those opportunities. I have pride in my work.

My work represents me. My work also represents a lot more than just me.

There are people who read this blog and form all sorts of opinions on a wide variety of topics other than who I am as a person. This is one of the reasons I put forth the effort that I do. This is why I apologize when late or a post is filled with errors or hard to read. This is why I take the time to go back and re-read old posts and correct the errors I do find. I have pride in my work.

It is odd to me to see students who don’t care about their work. I know it when I see it, the “I did it because the teacher assigned it,” look. What’s odder to me and slightly disconcerting are students who when offered a chance to redo an assignment with assistance who don’t take that opportunity. Perhaps this is an age and experience thing, where I have learned through many hard knocks that opportunities to fix mistakes are few and far between.

I don’t know. I understand being swamped with school work at this time in a semester. I understand wanting to spend time with friends, family, and being outdoors after winter. I get all of that. Still when the time comes to do work, put forth your best effort, even on the stuff you don’t want to do. Don’t do this because someone has told you to, but because you believe in your work. You have pride in your work and want to represent yourself the best you can.


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