I realize that some of my students’ positive affects towards school are coping mechanisms, as well, so I try to make sure all kids know that when they are dissatisfied with the work I suggest, they don’t have to smile and impersonate their best; they can learn to tell me when the work I suggest sucks, and we can find something better for them to do – something that might actually approach their best, which is nothing I can quantify or approximate through work that’s constrained and ruled solely by my imagination, no matter how good the questions I ask or how “engaging” the menu I develop for student choice in project-based work.
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