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Although context has many applications for helping to understand unclear situations, it also can be an important guide for educators seeking to compare and evaluate student progress.
Context is so important that we teach students how to use clues to understand new vocabulary words when reading. Context makes a difference when understanding ambiguous situations that might be easily misunderstood if you don’t understand what happened most recently in the passage or you don't have the culturally relevant information that helps us understand what we are reading.
If we as educators can’t provide frameworks and processes for students to have intelligent and respectful conversations about the leadership of our country, where are our young people going to learn to be active citizens? In my mind, learning the art and practice of civil discourse is an integral responsibility of public education in the United States.
Talking yourself through complex tasks (the walk) really works. We should be using this process when we teach and also encourage students to do it themselves when they are facing academic and other challenges.
Recently, I was again offered the opportunity to mentor some new teachers, and this time, with a bit more experience and training, I hope to do a better job. Mentoring fellow teachers is important work and can be mutually rewarding, but a mentor has to be more than just a paid buddy.
How do we think? It depends. As you undoubtedly know, thinking about some things is easier than others.
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