First, do no harm.

Reputations happen.

I usually develop a reputation for having a frustrating/difficult class.  Some recognize that they learn a lot.

When I’m asked about why I choose assignments, activities, and assessments that are frustrating, I respond with two points:

1) Learning sometimes involves modifying deeply held beliefs.  Making sense of complexity, paradox, and nuance is not straight-forward.  Reinforcement of established beliefs is easy, but learning is frustrating.

2) When parents discipline their children, the children do not like it.  Yet, parents continue to discipline because they believe the discipline is good for the child.*  I know students might not like certain aspects of my course, but I hope they know that I have their best interests at heart. **


*I know this could be used to defend all sorts of atrocities,

but this is where paradox and nuance enter the equation.

**Perhaps when we only worry about what kids “like” we

do more harm than good.

This entry was posted in General Education, Goals for Students, Reflection, Relationships and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to First, do no harm.

  1. Randi says:

    This reminds me of a proverb: “Whoever loves knowledge loves discipline. Whoever hates correction is stupid.”

    Knowing that those who discipline us have our best interest in mind is key to accepting the discipline, the difficult situations, the frustrating times.
    As an educator, how do you go about making sure your students know that you have their best interest in mind and want to help them succeed?


    • Jerrid Kruse says:

      I think part of making this clear is being explicit. Ask students why you are holding them to a higher expectation? Ask them how the habits they develop now might impact their future lives?

      Students oftentimes do know what is good for them, they just don’t like it :)


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