Monday, October 22, 2018

Problems that don't go away. . . .

People tire of problems that don't go away. They get tired of listening to those problems and sometimes begin to blame people for the problems rather than sitting down and working together to take the problems apart and figure out what's really happening. Conjecture and hearsay are welcomed by some who resist analysis, evaluation, and resolve.

Problems that continue demand new think, analysis, and discussion--these kinds of problems can't be wished away, swatted, strangled, or suffocated--these kinds of issues demand a deep look, clear understanding, and promising direction.

I try to take problems apart, see their origin, and make better. I write about problems a lot and try lots of different solutions, but rarely can one solve problems on their own--problems typically demand a collective look, discussion, effort, and resolve. To truly solve problems, particularly systematic problems, requires honest and dedicated commitment by all involved.

As I think of one problem that exists in my life, a problem outside of my professional sphere--I am thinking about all the people involved. It's a complex issue, an issue that has multiple possible solutions yet there are many that don't see the situation as a problem at all which is the first obstruction to solving the problem To solve a problem, you have to see it as a problem and you have to actively seek solution with others.

Today students and I will work on a problem. The problem is that some are not getting the practice they need to succeed in math. This problem has many parts. For example, one part is that the practice offered is too challenging for some students--they need practice that is a better fit for their ability level, time, and resources. Another challenge is that some students still don't understand the practice routines--they need to understand what's expected with greater clarity. I'm sure there are other problems related to this too, problems that will be revealed as I work with students to resolve this issue and make better. This problem will require buy in and effort from all to resolve.

Problems rarely just disappear. In general problems demand dedication, analysis, and collaboration to resolve. Problems are a natural feature in life's landscape and when we meet problems with the attitude that they hold promise for betterment, positive development, and growth, we typically can resolve those problems with positivity and gain. Onward.