Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Words to Ponder and Chew Over

I recently came across a chart that contained these comparisons, while I was searching various high school websites. (hmmm, the formatting is wonky, but ...)
Comparing Solution Building with Problem Solving
Solution Building vs. Problem Solving

1. "How did you do that?" vs. "Why did you do that?"

2. Focus on the future without the problem vs. Emphasis on past with the problem

3. Solution talk vs. Problem talk

4. Attention on what is working vs. Attention on what is wrong

5. Student is capable. vs. Student is flawed.

6. Teacher skilled at "not knowing." vs. Teacher is "all knowing."

7. If it works, do more of it. vs. Just keep using what you think should work until it, hopefully, does.

8. Change is inevitable. vs. People cannot change.

This resonated with me and it's been popping in and out of my mind for the last few days. If I scan down the list, this past year I could count 5 of the 8 where I was more focused on what was wrong at my school than just rotating my thinking and concentrating on what I could change or fix or be a part of making better.

Ooh, 7 makes me wince because in some of my classes, that's what I did sometimes. Off the top of my head: if students were having continual problems understanding, I would tell myself that I was ALWAYS available after school and they had every opportunity to come to tutoring. Yet every year, there are kids who for a variety of reasons don't come to tutoring and STILL fail to understand various topics. Maybe I need to enhance my toolbox of skills so that more kids understand more topics in class or have different avenues of seeking help other than coming to my tutoring.

Anyway, more stuff to reflect on.


  1. Oooh, you got me this morning! Good stuff.

  2. This is certainly some food for thought! Some of the mind shifts aren't so tough, as I'm well on my way, but others...well, it's something to work on! Thanks!

  3. I am going to pass this along to my colleagues, and probably tape it up by my own desk! Thanks!

  4. This just goes to show that the way we approach a problem will determine how it will be solved.

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