This past weekend, a lot was put into perspective. I was frustrated, upset, angry, demoralized, and just wanted to get away from it all. I thought I could do something. I tried. I studied up on it. I went out and bought what I thought was needed to get it done. I just couldn’t make it happen.
What could cause all this? What could drive me this crazy? Well, it sounds like a simple task…I am trying to take out a screw from the bathtub faucet to make it stop dripping! I thought I could just go in there and take it out without any issues. I looked at it. I studied it. I watched videos on how to fix it. I had the tools. Yet, there was an unexpected twist…the screw was stripped!
When this twist happened, I had some support. Some other people looked at it and gave me suggestions. I went out and bought what they suggested would help. I came home and started using it, yet it still didn’t work. I tried and tried. I got frustrated. I got upset. I got angry. I felt like I’m not good at this and that I’m not able to do anything. I didn’t know what to do.
Now, here’s the part that put a lot into perspective. If I felt this way over this task (which I’m still working on) how do my students feel every time they attempt an activity, think they know it, are given the right tools, yet still can’t succeed at that activity. How do they not show their frustration? How are they showing their frustration yet I don’t pick up on the signs? How can I be more supportive of the challenges and unexpected twists they encounter in their learning?
It took for me to struggle in my own experience to truly understand what students may be going through. I can’t fix a faucet. I’m trying. I’m determined to get it finished, but how many of my students have given up. How many have given up because I didn’t recognize the signs they were giving me. I need to be better. I need to recognize. I can’t let these opportunities go down the drain!