My coach (the person who observes me frequently and gives me feedback) has complimented my students’ “scrappiness.” I love this categorization of them as it reveals their persistence in the midst of a system that I often think has not served them well. The other thing that I appreciate about the honesty of this categorization though is my students’ guerrilla attitude toward schooling. I think of street fighters who are ill-equipped, and so adapt various strategies to survive. I think many of my students have evolved this approach to their schooling.
Unfortunately, I believe many of their survival strategies limit their growth potential to “just surviving” rather than thriving. A colleague and I want to come up with a way to give our students the necessary tools to continue growing, not just get by.
So here’s what I want to know: What do you consider the most critical skills for students to have to succeed well in a challenging problem solving environment?
I think I want to emphasize as my big three
- Valuing the process over the product
- Communicating clearly and concisely
Anyone have any experience teaching students these things? Do you have ways you build practice in to your classroom?