The question of whether the glass is half-full or half-empty doesn’t really require an answer. Both statements are correct. It depends on what your (mental) state is right now.

For teachers, it applies the same. When we look at students with this kind of perception, we tend to feel the urge to fill the glass to meet our expectation. We feed them with knowledge, drill them with question papers or give them higher level of difficulty questions. So that the glass is getting full. Or we could rather feel discouraged if we see this half-full even after our session of study.

Why does it matter to make the glass full anyway? Why don’t we question first what is best to fill the glass? Because we could choose what material to be filled in to the glass. Sand, pebbles, gems, paper, water, jelly,… what? Will it be more useful if the glass is full? 

Some teachers think that the best way to teach is to assume that students are empty glasses. Or just because it’s easier. “You can assume them as dummies. Or monkeys. [pardon, but this is internal, but now you know] They don’t know anything. You know more. You have the power and you can control them.”

And why do I have to have the power? Oh, yes. I’m the teacher. The authority. But that doesn’t sound right, does it?

I rather think of my students as half-filled glasses with different kind and amount of fillings. Whatever I want to deliver to them, has to be adequately adjusted to what they have, so they could fill their own glasses with what they need. Some might take my lesson as gravels, some others may take it as water, and a few might consider it to be gems.

And it shouldn’t bother me. Because what matters most is what they learn from the journey. What lesson they can take from my ‘tales’. So whether you come to me with half-filled glass or half-empty glass (according to you), let’s make it worth something, shall we?

– idea from Daily Prompt: The Glass.

The Glass is Filled

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