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Wednesday, March 31, 2010
I believe everyone has made assumptions of someones expectations and abilities especially regarding assessments. I try not to do it, but I have found myself doing it as a coach and a teacher in the past. As a coach I did it in 2004 when we were killing the clock in an important district football game. We had the lead and I put in a young back to give him reps, yet with the hopes that he can get us a first down to keep the clock ticking away. We called a simple inside trap play (run up the middle) and he busted it like an escapee from prison and ran 80 yards for a touchdown. So much for low expectations or abilities. This young man was named to the All-Star game in 2005. I just did the same thing in the classroom, when I assigned one of my 24/7/365 type of student an important role in the mock trial we just completed. I told him he better come prepared or his grade would reflect it. I was not saying it as encouragement unfortunately, it was more like a threat. Well this young man not only nailed his role like an academy award winner, but walked around like he was Valedictorian. Both opportunities gave both young men the boost they needed to kick start them athletically and academically respectfully. So from now on (it only took me 6 years to understand it) I will not assume or pre-assess ones ability until they have demonstrated that ability to me first hand.