Frustration as an Opportunity

frustration3I was recently facilitating a Quantum Learning for Student program that incorporated a break out session, where the teachers work with the students and help them apply what they learned from Quantum Learning to their subject matter.

As I was roaming throughout these breakout sessions, I glanced down the hall to see a student sitting somewhat dejectedly, waiting for her parents to pick her up. Noticing that this student was one I met earlier, I decided to sit and have a conversation to see if I could discover the cause of her foul mood.

The student explained how she had gotten into an argument with an adult at the school. My mind was running with ideas on how to take this situation – that from what I could gather was occurring due to the student’s own choice – and turn it into a lesson. This student could either go home angry and in bad mood, or apologize and attempt to make things right. After presenting her with these options, she reasoned that the latter sounded like a better idea. Even though she said she didn’t care and wanted to go home and forget about it at one point, I got the impression that deep down inside she wanted to make things right. After a little nudging, she chose to apologize, committing to being a better student the next day.

I think of the times when I get frustrated by students. How many times do I miss learning opportunities to teach character? In the midst of the many things we educators have going on, taking time and searching for ways to transform these moments into lessons takes energy and work. And yet these moments are key for teaching life skills that can serve them for years.


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  1. #1 by Mike on March 1, 2009 - 1:45 am

    Just passing by.Btw, you website have great content!

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