Roadblock to Success: I AM STUPID!
- Equal Sign lets ‘Stupid’ out of the box
- Reactions to Feeling Stupid:
- Withdraw: quit + quiet
- Emotional: embarrassed, angry, upset, sad, worry, nervous, stress
- Judgments: I’m not good enough; I don’t know anything; I’m bad at
everything; I am stupid.
- Attack: argue, swear, challenge, bully
- Defensive: judge (“This is stupid…you’re stupid.”)
- Numb: being numb is better than dumb
- 5 Causes of Stupid
- Called: stupid, dumb, idiot; laughed at; non-verbals
- “When I say something and others say it’s stupid or someone says something and I don’t know what they mean and they call me stupid…I get mad.”
- “Every night my dad tells me I’m stupid…I wish I could leave.”
- Comparison: others are better; I’m not good enough
- “When I am taking CSAPs and am one of the last people taking the test…I rush through it and don’t read the questions or answers.”
- “When some of my friends brag about their grades…I tell them my grades are good then think to myself, ‘Oh, I’m stupid.’”
- Confusion: I don’t know; I don’t get it
- “When guys are talking about stats and football and I have no idea what they’re talking about… I usually just don’t talk or I pretend I know what they are talking about.”
- “In school when I don’t know the answer…Pretend, blush, don’t raise my hand as much.”
- Can’t: failure, mistakes
- “When I strike out in a baseball game…I feel that I’m not good at baseball and I’ll probably strike out again.”
- Certain situations: class, activity, needing help
- “In any class when I read…I get mad at myself.”
- Teacher Tips for Keeping Stupid in the Box:
- Initiate professional conversations among faculty to (a) become aware of stupid and (b) consider ways to reduce student experiences of stupid.
Make stupid part of the curriculum: . Share personal experiences of feeling stupid.
Teach the 5 causes of stupid.
- Be aware of when stupid might appear: Have a large EQUAL SIGN in your room and refer to it
when and where someone might be feeling stupid.
- Every few weeks ask students if they have felt stupid.
- Ask students if they have felt stupid by any of your verbal or
- Empower students with the UNEQUAL SIGN.
4 Practice the script:
“I am smart. I just don’t understand _______________ yet.”
“I am smart. I’m just confused about _________________.”
“I am smart. I just can’t ____________________________.”
For more information on Top 20 materials or on-site trainings,
see Tom Cody for a brochure and business card.