Do your students leave you exhausted?

Are you ever exhausted at the end of the school day because you feel like you’ve been dragging your students through the learning process?

Sometimes, it’s like you have to hold your students’ hands through every step. You have to encourage them to get started. You show them exactly what they need to do. You set them challenges, then provide scaffolds so they can overcome them. Then you find their mistakes for them and show them how to correct them. And you feel like you have to do all of this, or they wouldn’t learn anything at all!

These students who leave us exhausted are the ones with poor Learnership – they haven’t learned how to effectively engage in the learning process. It’s not that they can’t learn; it’s just that they don’t know how to learn effectively.

In any given lesson, there’s a particular cognitive load that needs to be “lifted”. This is the intellectual work required to achieve the...

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Is this good enough?

How many times have you heard a student ask, “Is this good enough?”

Do your students look for the easiest options? Do they constantly seek their “path of least resistance”?

Are too many of your students focusing on completing work rather than completing it well? Do they ask, “Do I have to do this?” Or “Is this going to count”?

If you hear these types of questions, it’s because your students don’t have a good relationship with challenges. They look for the instant gratification of doing something easy rather than the long-term gain of doing something difficult.

In short, your students lack one of the essential skills of being an effective learner: understanding the nature of challenges.

The most skilful, effective learners recognise that the benefit of taking on challenges goes far beyond simply getting something done. Former US president John F. Kennedy, when announcing that America would put a man on the moon,...

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