What does it mean when they say "it" is too much? I'm beginning to think that it is not so much about the work itself. I had a few students look at a vocabulary matching activity, an activity that was only half a page in length, and say that it was too much. Physically, that was incorrect. 50 minutes is plenty of time to finish a half sheet of vocab that is just matching the word with a definition. Then I got to thinking.
My expectations may be too much. The information I'm trying to teach them may be too complicated and thus, too much for them to grasp. Maybe the subject matter is so emotionally draining that processing it all is just too much. It can't be about the length of the assignment. I can't let myself think that a high school student in DISD is so unprepared that they can't complete a half page of matching. I can't let myself believe that a DISD student could be so overwhelmed by a half sheet that they don't even attempt it. I struggle with being responsive to the needs of my students. Dallas education is in trouble if we can't change the culture in our classrooms. That may mean working harder to change the culture outside our classrooms.