Friday, February 1, 2013

Students can help us...don't let your ego get in the way!
     The story of Ahmed Al-Khabaz this week is a reminder to all educators from pre-school right through higher Ed.  Note, there are always two sides to a story & I have yet to here Dawson College come out & provide any info, but none the less the principle here seems to be a warning to all those whose ego may get in the way of allowing students to help.

     As a teacher I made my greatest gains with students when I finally made the break through & realized that it is okay to say I don't know.  Students are more perceptive then we realize sometimes & they can read through the lines.  When we are honest they began to get the message that it is okay not to know, the important thing is to be able to find out.  Not to accept IDK as the end goal.  Today this is easier than ever, but what a powerful lesson to stop what you're doing in class & quickly jump on Google or ask on Twitter to find out the answer to a students question which you are at a loss to answer.  

    This is especially true when it comes to technology.  Students often know as much or more than we do when it comes to technology in the classroom.  If something goes wrong, turn to the class & ask, "does anyone have a suggestion for how to fix this", or "has this happened to anyone before".  You may be pleasantly surprised to get an answer before you go tromping down to the "techie" teacher on your hallway.  Plus you are demonstrating a life lesson that students can have solutions even if a teacher doesn't.  That things do go wrong, that problems will arise, and the important point is how you handle it in life.

     Again I am not sure of all the details with the story of Ahmed Al-Khabaz, but the lesson is there for us to take heed.  Don't be embarrassed if students help you, or point out something you have missed.  Teach a life lesson, be appreciative, & foster a learning environment.  Recognizing the value of all parts is what creates a community of learning, don't forget that whether with students, colleagues, parents, or staff.

Student expelled for helping find security flaws at university:
Summary: A student at a Montreal university has been expelled and had his grades zeroed after he discovered and reported a flaw in the software that is responsible for holding students' personal information.

Read more here or watch the video below: