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Get Ready for No Naps...

Why do we want to rush our kids through school but outside of school we want to "savor every moment"?

We often hear the hurry up for what's next phrase in school that sounds something like, "You'll never be ready for X because of Y."

In my experience as a classroom teacher, I am sure I said the phrase (once or twice or one hundred times) How will you be ready for college when you're________________?

Fill in the blank with:

  • playing around

  • not paying attention

  • not doing assignments regularly

  • not doing your best

Sure I taught high school most of my career and part of my JOB was to get students ready for college (wait, was it?), however, many of those years were 9th and 10th grade where college shouldn't really be the main motivator- not sure how I used the college threat in those years, and admittedly the phrase didn't even motivate my juniors or seniors either who were probably getting ready for college. Here's why: I wasn't saying what I really meant and it only created stress and confusion for students.

Here's what I really meant:

  • Quit playing around

  • This is important. Pay attention.

  • Why aren't you handing in our assignments?

  • How can I help you do your very best in this class?

But for me to say the real things I wanted to say, guess what? I had to have some expectations in place for playing around and paying attention; I'd have to know my students enough to notice who is not handing in work, and I'd have to know how to help my students stretch out of their comfort zone but stay out of their panic zone.

So when we say these kinds of rushing phrases to our students and our children at home, let's think about what it is we really want to say or what we really mean so we can get back to now.

For more on this and so much more... Listen to The School Whisperer podcast (here)
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