I'm sure you can imagine what the grades looked like. If you are imagining all A's your way off. The students still failed in embarrassing numbers.
This can leave a teacher feeling completely hopeless. If you give the students the answers to the test and allow them to use those answers while taking the test and they still have major issues...then most educators are out of ideas that can help the students pass.
"They can't even cheat to pass!"
They throw their hands up with frustration and sit in the corner of the lunchroom during faculty meetings rolling their eyes at the administration who proposes new ideas to help the students.
If you have been in education very long you can probably imagine a similar scenario. This is an absurdity on a college campus where bright young educators are preparing to change the world.
They have such high expectations. They would never allow students to go through their class without being challenged.
The level of expectation is generally higher for a new teacher than a veteran teacher who "knows" what the students are capable of accomplishing.
The difference is that the new teachers haven't failed to meet their expectations.
The general trend of a teachers career is to start out with high expectations only to fail miserably, then to lower the expectations. That trend continues until at some point the expectations level off with the results.
The inherent problem is that we stigmatize failure to a degree that we expect less in order to succeed. (tweetable)
I tend to agree with the new teacher mindset. I know that it can be difficult to always fail, however failure is only bad when you do not learn from it. Make adjustments, tweak the way you teach, or your classroom policies, but don't give up.
If we shoot for the stars and land on the moon...did we really fail?
If we shoot for the status quo and make it, did we really succeed?
Maintain your high expectations in the face of failure