6

One thing that’s really difficult for me to bear is criticism of my work. In general, I am very good at separating my self-confidence from my opinions and I usually do not get upset if I hold an opposing viewpoint to others. But it really can be tough for me to hear that I have formulated an idea weakly. I’ve almost always been one of the best and brightest, but that’s just not the case anymore. In no way do I suppose professors to have a vendetta or even angst towards me. They (mostly) want me to succeed and are showing me where I have weak points which should help to strengthen me. I just feel a little crushed when I am sub-par. I get to the point that if I was told to redo something than I wouldn’t because I felt that I had done well enough.

This is really something that I will have to be mindful of as a teacher. Students need first to know that it is not (generally) them that are being criticized, but that they may have the ideas right but they need to be polished up. It is paramount to be explicit in showing how exactly the student missed the bar and in which way to direct it to be correct. It’s hard to be told that you are wrong, but we learn better from our mistakes than our successes.

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