Thursday, June 13, 2013

A long, slow turn

I'm being reminded of something that I notice with kids. Namely, how difficult it can be to turn around some entrenched patterns of behavior. For instance, students will come to me saying they feel lost in a course. I give them advice on how to turn that around. They undertake steps to do just that. But the grades don't change right away. Perhaps it's because there is residual work that gets graded after they've started the turn. Perhaps it's because there's some lost comprehension from before the turn. Regardless, it's dispiriting for many kids to feel like they've changed what they needed to change, but the results seem to be lagging.

I can't help but think of how long it takes for a mighty warship to turn

The 2012-13 school year didn't see me do my best job balancing life as a father with life as a professional, and I look forward to summer and 2013-14 as a chance to adjust. But it's been a dispiriting week, as I see some residual drag from a few weeks in which I wasn't there to nudge my son as much as I should. Humbling.

Even more humbling: How much of a hero I am in his eyes, and the eyes of my little girl. We're our own worst critics. I see faults, warts, blown calls, and rookie mistakes. They see a tower.

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