What can I possibly say to make this class understand? What can I show them? What can we do so that they “get it?”
We spend a lot of time asking these kinds of questions–searching for that breakthrough moment, the key that will open (for the class) the door to understanding.
Of course, it almost never works that way.
Lessons, guided practice, presentations, project based learning activities– all these succeed (or not) one student at a time. We plant the the seeds, and slowly, they take root and grow–one at a time.
Students demonstrate growth one at a time. One at a time, seals are broken and understanding seeps in. Doors open and light bulbs turn on, sure, but rarely all at once–usually (often painfully) one. . . . at . . . a . . . time.
True, we are moving mountains. But if you’re showing up each day expecting the earth to shift under your feet–it’s going to be a long year. Yes, there are times to focus on the mountain, but the real progress is being made with the stones at your feet–one at a time.
One student at a time doesn’t grab the headlines. But it’s the way this works. Success and failure. Excellence and mediocrity. We are winning or we are losing. And it’s all happening one student at a time.