The fall colors in Colorado are spectacular! I spent the weekend hiking high in the Rockies, enjoying spectacular views in every direction. The weekend was especially enjoyable as a little over two years ago a leg injury kept me from hiking. It was wonderful to be back in the Colorado mountains.
Hiking for me now comes with some “new normals.” I carefully check out the trails prior to choosing one, making sure that the path is neither too steep nor covered with slippery gravel. I keep my eyes focused on the trail, carefully watching for any unexpected rocks or tree stumps which might cause a tumble. Walking sticks are an essential part of my hiking routine, as they provide stability and extra balance. Finally, I stop and survey the scenery more than ever before. I celebrate both my surroundings and my progress.
- I reflected on how these changes in my approach to hiking apply to many of my struggling students. Before I assign a task, I now stop and think . .Is the assignment appropriate for their current level? Is it at a challenging, yet attainable, level?
- Have I thought through any unexpected bumps in the task which might cause them to stumble?
- Like hiking sticks, what support can I provide my students?
- Do we stop and celebrate the successes on the way? It’s good to pause, think about where we started, and celebrate our progress!
Our students can make such progress in their learning when we carefully consider where they are in their learning and how we can best support them in taking the very next step!