A short video clip focused on the importance of shedding outdated standards of “perfect” students and meeting them where they are instead
Hear the importance of recognizing and supporting the students who raise their hands and those who get out of hand equally so they can all be successful in their own ways.
Michael Gerard Mason:
One thing that I am absolutely doing, and I think we are doing is trying to redefine or deconstruct what it meant to be a good student, because what we are realizing is that the students who are depressed are also good students, the students who are anxious and having panic attacks and passing out during exams, they are also good students. The students who are having difficulty coming to class because they have such profound social anxiety, those students are great students.
So we are trying to humanize this very difficult, but precious experience of learning for all people. And I think that’s going to take time because, I’ve been an educator a long time from K through 12 to college, we do like the kids who sit quietly. We do like the kids who raise their hands. We do like the kid who follow their syllabus to the T. We love all of that. And the further you get away from that, the more stressed I get. And still all of those students are great students and quite successful in their own ways.
So I think what we’re trying to do is create a space where we can collectively begin to liberate students from things that we’ve held them to in the past, so that they can be their best selves, whatever that may be.