Search This Blog

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Resistance is Part of Learning

Today is struggle.

My son is resisting my teaching, and it is frustrating me. He is struggling with the fact that he can't have two introduction paragraphs. He wants his hook to be a separate paragraph from his thesis statement. He keeps saying, "It just doesn't look right!"

I'm struggling not to lose it because that he won't just trust me, or the experts that wrote our writing curriculum. He also doesn't want to trust the half a dozen videos we watched on You Tube about Introduction paragraphs. 

For context, you need to know my son is honestly a great writer, other than formatting. His history summaries are detailed, insightful, and witty, but he hates being told how to format his writing. He is very unique and is already developing a voice in his writing, which is why he takes it personally when he is told he wrong.  I know when he is angry because gets really quiet and quickly tries to wipe away his wet eyes (I cry when I'm angry too and it is the worst).

Being a homeschool teacher is hard, but to your child, so is learning something new! Resistance to new information doesn't necessarily mean your child isn't learning, it is part of the process. Don't take your child's resistance to learning a new idea as resistance to YOU.

Do not take it personally.

As adults we all resist when told we are wrong, so why wouldn't a child do the same? Even if we are told in the kindest, most effective teaching method, it is still hard to hear you don't know an answer. 

Does understanding the student's resistance to new information mean we tolerate a melt down? Definitely not.

Should my understanding lead to me a little more compassion, which hopefully grows patience in me as a teacher? I hope so. 

When I saw how hard it was for him to feel like his writing was being criticized, it gave me patience to spend those extra ten minutes helping explain why his introduction can't be two different paragraphs (and watching several YouTube videos with him because the kid is stubborn.... I have no idea where he gets it from).

Understanding his resistance also keeps me from escalating as he escalates. As he gets defensive, I don't become offensive. I had to catch myself from saying "Just do it my way because I am the teacher!"

Some kids are going to be more defensive to being wrong than others. My oldest has ALWAYS been my "resistant to change/perfectionist" kid, but we have grown so much since those Kindergarten days when getting a wrong answer ended in tears for both of us.

I am so proud of his progress as a student and my progress as his teacher. I am also deeply thankful everyday we get to affirm that making mistakes means we are learning.

No comments:

Post a Comment