Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Talented students and self confidence

If a talented student at the start of year 11 wants to leave your class what do you do?

It's a question I don't know the answer to and is a difficult one.

Paths I've taken in the past have included:
a) Discuss their choices and investigate their motivation for leaving
b) Direct them to school counsellors
c) Do nothing

Invariably before now I have been sucked into option a). This last time I've decided to do c). Whether it is peer pressure, lack of support from parents, lack of confidence in your abilities, interference from other learning areas to bolster numbers, laziness or poor work ethic; students feel compelled to make changes at the start of year 11. It will be interesting to see what they will do. I know though that I can't in all honesty tell them that they will pass if they think the grass is greener elsewhere. I'd much rather have those students that are enjoying themselves in the new courses.

The pall cast by students wishing to leave really dampens my enjoyment of classes as I was really looking forward to working positively with them. I suppose it's just the ups and downs of working with adolescents.

The main course affected seems to be the year 11 3ab MAS course. The introduction of new content seems to have spooked a few students. I am concerned that the MAT only students this year will struggle in 3C MAT next year without the additional practice provided by 3AB MAS. It is only guesswork at this stage.

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