June 2, 2015

The chemistry of student success

Original at Education Post by Angela Campbell

I have been teaching high school science (chemistry, physics, and biology) for the past 20 years in Los Angeles County in classrooms filled primarily with students of color. By the time 10th and 11th grade students reach my class, they have experienced many years of underachievement compared to their white and Asian peers.

The majority of students who enter my chemistry class at the beginning of a term feel that they are destined to fail, or to pass with a low grade, because they have not been encouraged to believe in themselves. I have seen this over and over again...

My job is not just about getting students to trust me, but also getting students to trust their own abilities. Unfortunately, they will probably continue to fall in the belief gap, so it’s imperative that I help build their self-esteem to surmount whatever obstacles they face in the future.

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