Past to present comparisons can be really powerful and exciting for students. In the past, I’ve liked to have students self-portraits, and first-day photos at the beginning of the year. When you take the same picture at the end, or have the students create self portraits at the end, you see so much growth!
When you have a kid who has made some progress, but does not feel confident about it, nothing can make them feel better about themselves then comparing how they did at the start of the year to where they are now.
Sometimes that doesn’t work out, sometimes you’ve got a student who hasn’t shown a lot of growth. This requires a little bit more coaching power on your part. For some kids, it can be just the kick in the pants to realize that their habits need to change. When you lay it out in front of them, it can be a good wake up call. With other kids though, it can be a very defeating, self-evident sign to them that they are just not ever going to grow. Played wrong, you can be the card that tells them that they should fold their hand. This is where it’s time to get creative.
It might mean some one-on-one time, or it might mean partnering them with a respected peer who can mentor them because for whatever reason, your teaching stylist not working for this kid. It’s not time to take an ego hit, sometimes connections just don’t come as easy between two people as they do between two other people.
We all grow, but we all grow at different paces. It could be that the tomatoes that take six weeks to grow tastes better than the tomatoes that grow in a month. But after four weeks, you’re going to be looking at that second plant and thinking gosh, what a loser. I should have bought more of those one month tomatoes. Two weeks later you’re going to have better tomatoes. Be patient!