The oversimplification that I have been searching for is this: ‘Teaching kids that they can learn.’ My knee-jerk reaction is to think that, of course, kids know that they can learn while they are at school. But at the same time, they don’t know that.
Years into this non-linear journey, all I really know is that an average middle schooler is not sure of anything. They are building the narratives that they’ll carry forward in life, trying lots of attitudes and personalities, and navigating a sea of social/hormonal storms. It would be worth it to help them KNOW that they can learn challenging things, figure out a challenge, and have their own ideas.
Watching my own boys tackle projects, get frustrated, and narrate their school careers has been the biggest source of inspiration (and motivation to get it right!). If I can get good at teaching kids that they can learn, I will be a success.