A Blind Instruction Can Change A Student’s Perspective Towards Learning & Life
It matters for teachers to persuade their students to take a leap of faith towards appreciating failure.
Recently, I have grown more accustomed to testing myself without a background understanding of a particular subject. To address the issue of ambiguity — I allowed myself to take tests that I didn’t prepare for. But I used critical thinking on the spot to decipher the answers by understanding the common reference of the question.
It has become one of my testing tools, to incite interest in my students and mentees. Allowing them to partake in activities they don’t have any clear knowledge of. In a given scenario, I would hand a task to a student interested in pursuing computer science. The student would have to create a file media server that shares files and media folders over a network.
Showcasing clear tasks, but without instructing how to accomplish it. It is up to the student to find out, what works best for them to finish the task in ample time. In my results, I have found out that If you technically motivate a student by creating one task in front of them as an example — they can usually do it on their own without any clear direction from their teachers.
My student was assigned to create a file media server but I didn’t tell him which tools to use. You could make such a server over your laptop as well, or you would need to do it on physical bulky hardware such as a desktop computer. My student started to research, and after a week — he came back with the results. While tinkering through many failures in the initial run. He was able to create a file media server but it only ran on a shared network i.e. over the network of his household.
He also had implemented three different ways, where one could create one. By pushing him to do this — he would create his own way of learning. The only thing I had to allow him, was the freedom to take the steps to build the solution. Freedom to fail, helps students learn. It puts them in a place where they pave their own direction. If a student gives a test, without preparation having ADHD can pass the test with 66% percentage marks. That can actually tell you a lot about the aptitude of a student.
The problem lies in the medium of instruction. Most of the time, teachers are unable to clearly highlight the problem that usually lies in the instructor’s ways. It is the instructor’s role to identify the gaps of the students and help them fill them. If students are allowed to pave their path, with adherence to failure as a precursor to success — then I believe students won’t avoid failure but certainly aim for it.
There is no required time for students to succeed. Success is complimentary to the time invested in the process — some are longer, while others are shorter. The path to success in any given role demands perseverance, kindness, and an attitude of resilience. Instilling that in your students, and they will become great in whatever path they choose to carve.
We have to push our students at least in a way, where they can choose freely. We have to create an environment of support where they can pick themselves when they fail, and not falter. A student learns the best, when there are no deadlines, and they are allowed to match their pace with the instructions. We build on top of that, but first, we have to build the character of the person aiming to take those steps.
The perspective matters, as they say
Always knock on the bridge before you cross over.
What if the student falls? Even though they checked it — what then? Well, they get back out there and try again. Instead of creating an environment where the student loses faith in the system and themselves. We have to reach to support them — so that they can learn again. When they would be allowed to make that blind choice — they will learn when we facilitate their failures as opportunities. It will help them grow, not only as a person but as a successful student that can change lives, and perhaps the world itself.
And the first step to ensure that future is to let them take a leap of faith, and the rest will follow afterward in time.
Peace, Thank you so much for reading.