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I Feel Stupid when I Don’t Understand

Kimberly - I Feel Stupid when I Don’t Understand

Trigonometry.

I. Did. Not. Like. Trigonometry.

I tried so hard to understand.  All the other kids seemed to understand except for me.  I eventually began to feel uncomfortable asking my teacher questions. I felt stupid for asking so many.  What was wrong with me that I didn’t understand this like the rest of the class?

It is important to tell and to demonstrate to our students that they are safe to ask questions in our classrooms.  We often tell them that no question is a stupid question.  That’s good, but it’s important to also say things like: 

If you still don’t understand – even after I’ve explained it five times – will you promise me that you will still ask me your question?”

“I never want you to feel afraid or stupid to ask your question nor do I want you to pretend that you understand.  Deal?”

“This is a safe place for you to ask your questions.  We are all learning and growing here at our own individual pace.”

Kimberly with question mark - ask questions

I would love to hear from you. How else do you help your students to feel safe in your classroom so that they are free to ask all of the questions they want?

Share in the comments below.

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