That is what teachers do. We have expectations.
We expect that our students will learn, that they will make progress, we will see change. Sometimes we don't see students meeting what we think they will; so we review and reflect. We implement strategies to support their learning and take small steps to continue their learning journey. The expectations underpin the knowing.
We have expectations. Of course we do.
Our students are all in a ' zone of expectation '. Whether we consciously do this or not, we think we know where their understanding will roughly be and roughly how long it ' should ' take.
But do we really know? How can we really ' know' ?
Do we unintentionally create a ceiling for students that in fact limits their potential learning and understanding?
When we speak to students do our words give them limitation messages. Are we saying things that in fact lead them to think they have reached an 'end point'. What are we 'really' saying? Our words really matter.
What happens when students take one step outside that ' Zone of Expectation ' ?
When our students take action, when they make meaning and make connections that lead to other learning. Learning that extends past what we had expected of them, learning that isn't 'in the plan'. The place where they are really extending and challenging themselves intrinsically. They are in 'the flow' they are following their interest and are really developing understandings. Then they have taken that 'one step outside the ' Zone of Expectation '.
This place is different for every child.
The key as a teacher is knowing when your students have taken that step and determining how you can guide, support and encourage them, with out messages of limitation.
Empowering students is crucial, learning in a ' culture of permission ' provides students with a place where they can explore, challenge and make meaning of so many things.
If we aim for all our students to take 'one step outside of the expectation zone' then, that is when we will see a real difference for every child. Not the same difference for each but learning and developing for each in their own way.