This morning I was checking in with my news and blog feed when a post caught my eye. The idea that we shouldn’t “expect” kids to do anything; adults should believe children are capable of doing the right thing and performing at their highest ability level.
While I think this is a noble concept, I do not believe that this is a realistic way to approach education today. I work “around” education. I do not teach, but I try to help teachers. I do not run schools, but I assist in providing guidance through connections and research. And I have seen my area schools. The unfortunate reality is that schools need to set expectations in a positive light so the students know what they are before they do something “wrong”.
We – parents, educators, community members – need to develop clear and concise communications skills to share what we hope to achieve in our schools. Parents think that their child is being treated unfairly – develop a relationship early on in the school year with your teacher to be able to share those thoughts. Teachers believe that their students are acting out in class – set the bar early that respect will be given if it is received. Administrators want their teachers to be happy and motivated – develop programs that help students grow and learn, while providing similar opportunities for your teachers.
It’s okay to “expect” certain things, and it’s okay to set “expectations”. If we never know what the expectation is, how will we know when it in not met? Shouldn’t we encourage our children to succeed at their highest level? I believe that we can do that by giving them an expectation of success, and if they don’t meet it – provide support and encouragement until they do.