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Student Disengagement: What to Do When Students Feel Stupid in School?
Top 20s Develop Potential in Their Students and Themselves
Stages of Potential: Thinking, Learning and Communicating
“Top 20” = Effective TLC “Bottom 80” = Ineffective TLC
Top 20s Keep Stupid in the Box
- Equal Sign lets ‘stupid’ out of the box: ‘It means I am…’
- 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
- Comparison: others are better; I’m not good enough
Comparison à Stupid Comparison à Learning
- Confusion: I don’t know; I don’t get it
Mountain of Learning: “I don’t get it.” à Confusion à “AHA, I get it.”
Confusion Rocks: Everything we know or can do today we were once confused about.
Confusion is a natural and necessary part of ALL learning.
- Can’t: failure, mistakes
- Certain situations: class, activity, needing help
- Unequal Sign: ‘It doesn’t mean I am…’
- Teacher Tips for Keeping Stupid in the Box:
- Initiate professional conversations among faculty to:
(1) become aware of stupid and (2) consider ways to reduce student experiences of stupid.
- Make stupid part of the curriculum: (1) Share personal experiences of feeling stupid. (2) Teach the 5 causes of stupid.
(3) Explain how ‘comparison’ can lead to learning. (4) Explain the importance of ‘confusion’ in learning.
(5) Stress the value of failure and mistakes to learning and growing.
- Be aware of when stupid might appear: (1) Have a large EQUAL SIGN in your room and refer to it in situations where someone might be feeling stupid.
(2) Every few weeks ask students if they have felt stupid.
(3) Ask students if they have felt stupid by any of your verbal or nonverbal communication.
- Empower students with the UNEQUAL SIGN.
- Help students discover how they are smart.
- 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 _____.”
TOP 20s PRACTICE KAIZEN: CONTINUAL IMPROVEMENT
Action Plan: What have you become aware of that you now want to…
Top 20 Training provides materials and in person and online training for Students, Educators, and Parents.
Top 20 Books: Top 20 Teens: Discovering the Best-kept Thinking, Learning and Communicating Secrets of Successful Teenagers Top 20 Teachers: The Revolution in American Education Top 20 Parents: Raising Happy, Responsible and Emotionally Healthy Children
Why Students Disengage in American Schools and What We Can Do about It
Teacher Manuals for grades K-6, 3-6 and 7-12 include detailed lesson plans and handouts to assist teachers in
presenting Top 20 topics to students.
Top 20 Buttons: Colorful buttons of Top 20 phrases created by students with special needs.