Permission to fail
got high schools on my mind.
A high school teacher told me recently that her school allows students to try
harder courses than they normally might take. For example, students might sign
up for an Honors English class instead of a regular English class or an AP
Government class instead of a normal Government class. These are big issues in
secondary schools: who gets to take advanced / Honors / AP courses, who gets to
be exposed to rigorous course content, and who doesn't. At first I thought that
this was great, that here's a school that's trying to open up learning
opportunities for students. But then my back brain registered how she talked
about the school policy. She said that the school gives students
"permission to fail." And that's when it all fell
apart for me.
Permission to fail. What a horribly sad and
depressing term. Does a permission to fail policy
recognize that these kids might need a little extra support to be successful or
does it simply thrust them into the challenging learning environment and say,
"Good luck!"? Is a permission to fail policy premised
on student success or on a belief that "these kids really can't do the work but
we'll let them try because it looks and feels good" (to us, to parents, to the
public)? Perceptions and beliefs shape reality. Will a permission to
failpolicy ever result in large numbers of successful
I left that school wishing it had a permission to
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Even some teachers suffer from anxiety about math.
I teach people how to teach math, and I've been working in this field for 30 years. Across those decades, I've met many people who suffer from varying degrees of math trauma – a form of debilitating mental shutdown when it comes to doing mathematics.
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
The legacy of Felix Dzerzhinsky, who led Soviet secret police in the "Red Terror," still confounds Russia.
- Felix Dzerzhinsky led the Cheka, Soviet Union's first secret police.
- The Cheka was infamous for executing thousands during the Red Terror of 1918.
- The Cheka later became the KGB, the spy organization where Russia's President Putin served for years.
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