Julie A. Cunningham

Academic Advisor

Challenges vs. Obstacles

Image by LaPrimaDonna

I’m not thrilled with my recent approach to a number of situations. It boils down to perspective- is that thing in front of me a challenge or an obstacle? For example, my previous post grew out of a sense of frustration and feeling thwarted because I view tests and essays and sending of transcripts as an obstacle… rather than a challenge.

Today, I watched one of my students ((Don’t you love it when students reflect our actions and behaviors back? Eye-opening.)) doing the same thing when approaching a test. She saw it as an obstacle that was preventing her from completing her math textbook, rather than a celebration of that last step.

This outlook not only creates additional stress, but also limits the learning opportunities in any situation. We’ve talked at length in class about challenging yourself- especially important in a self-paced, proficiency-based model, and especially difficult for this age group in particular to embrace. Sometimes we are so focused on the end goal that we forget to see the value in the process. And that’s what learning is… a process. Not a destination.

Something for me to work on personally, as well as encourage in my students.

Advertisements

Comments are closed.