Kids are coming back to school across America. There will be times throughout the year when students will be confused about what they are being taught. That’s supposed to happen in classrooms; confusion leads to learning.
However, when we ask teachers what students think, feel, believe, or do when they are confused, teachers share negative responses. They say things like students withdraw or quit trying, feel embarrassed, dumb or stupid, act out, believe they will never get it, see what is being taught as pointless or irrelevant.
When a student was asked what she does when she is confused, she answered, “I’m confused in school when I don’t know the answer…I pretend, blush and don’t raise my hand as much.”
As we work with teachers to change this negative perception and behaviors so students stay engaged in learning, we ask teachers to find meaningful ways to celebrate confusion. We define ‘celebrate’ as experiencing a positive emotion connected to confusion, because, until now, students have normally experienced a negative emotion when they have been confused.
During a recent training, Kevin and I met Sonja Waltner, Music Director at Freeman Public School in Freeman, South Dakota. As Sonja and her colleagues discussed this challenge, she decided to create a song with her students that celebrated confusion. Click HERE and experience the joy of confusion.
Sonja and her music class offer this as a gift to your students so they will understand that confusion is a natural and necessary part of all learning. Let’s make sure CONFUSION ROCKS at your school.
If you create meaningful ways of celebrating confusion with students, please send them our way. We will share them with educators and make a difference in American schools.
From our Top 20 team…Willow, Kevin and Tom…for whom keeping student engaged in learning matters.
Paul Bernabei, Director
Top 20 Training