A simple writing exercised  turned into a lesson in humility. It started with a simple journal question: “How determined are you to succeed?

My students were upset that I asked them that question. Many of them felt that it was a deceptive ploy to prejudge them. They believed that their responses would be used to critique their character and values.  “If I answer this question honestly; you’re not going to like it. Then, you’re going to lecture us about how we should think. It’s not right, Miss.”

Were they right?  Did I have a predetermine idea how “they” should respond to this question?  I sure did. When I selected this journal response, my intention was to have a discussion about resiliency. I made the presumption that my students “could not possibly” understand this concept.  It was my belief that I could help them understand what it means to have “true grit”.

I deliberately was not interested in their perspective. Because, I had a hidden agenda. This conversation forced me to contemplate how I perceive the young people in my school building.  It took a lot of courage for my students to speak out against my holier-than-thou actions in the classroom.

And, I thank them for it.

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