Lately, I’ve decided to battle the following (and all-too-common) scenario:
A student finishes an assignment and brings it to me, asking: “Is this good?”
What a dangerous question. It reveals a fear to take chances, an inability to judge, and a desire to do just enough.
Time to retrain.
- Raise expectations. Ask: “Is this great?”
- Reframe the question. Ask: “I don’t know, what did you learn?”
- Return the responsibility. Ask: “What are three things that are ‘good’ about this?”
- Make them aware of their peers. Keep a very high-quality example up from a previous year labeled “This is good.”
- The old standby: “I don’t know, is it?”