I Guess We Can Only Improve From Here

The first day of school I give my students a survey. Mostly I’m trying to get a basic idea of who they are and what they think of school. One of the questions is: “Is there any person from history you really admire? If so, why?” Today, on one of the papers, I received the following answer to that question:

George Washington. Because he discovered America.

Even now, I’m shaking my head in disbelief. I don’t expect my students to have much prior knowledge of U.S. History (or anything else) but . . . really? After seven years of school?

The student put his name on the paper, and while I remember the answer, I can’t remember the name. I’m not sure if I should even check the paper to remind myself who the author was. On the one hand, if I do, that answer will be in my mind every time I look at that kid. On the other hand, if he ends up doing well, it would be nice to know how much he improved. I guess I’ll file the papers and wait until the end of the year. Then either the paper will have been prophetic or the results of the class miraculous.

Explore posts in the same categories: Teaching

One Comment on “I Guess We Can Only Improve From Here”

  1. KC Says:


    It is awfully hard to fix what evidently has been ignored at home in only 6 hours a day.

    But thanks for trying!

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