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Staff editorial: Unicycling intends to inspire, encounters setback

Lack of teacher support affects project


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To demonstrate the importance of overcoming academic challenges, teachers in the math department started off the 2016-17 school year by attempting to learn how to ride the unicycle. As many teachers found riding the unicycle difficult, the goal of the activity was to show students that grasping a new concept or skill in math can be achieved by not giving up.

Math teacher Robert Otto said he came up with the idea to unicycle and committed himself to continue practicing the new skill even when it proved difficult. According to Otto, the project initially attracted lots of attention, though some teachers chose to opt out of participating. A few teachers preferred to not take part in the project after Otto said he fell and experienced minor injuries while learning how to unicycle.

The editorial board feels that teachers opting out of the challenge defeats the purpose of the message being sent to students. If teachers fail to challenge themselves on a task such as unicycling, students lose inspiration to study topics in math they struggle with.

Our editorial board acknowledges the math department’s desire to encourage students, but feel they should find a more effective way where students can measure growth. Teachers should find tie their inspiration directly back to the classroom so students can more easily and frequently see improvement.

The editorial board believes that students will feel more motivated if teachers create a form of visible indication of growth where students can physically see progress over time. For example, teachers could clearly represent improvement through the use of a leaderboard, scoreboard, or other type of diagram displayed in the classroom.

Students should also hold their teachers accountable for following through with the activities they come up with.

While understanding the math department’s attempt at inspiring students to work hard through learning a new skill, the editorial board feels it collectively failed to do so.

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The student news site of St. Louis Park High School
Staff editorial: Unicycling intends to inspire, encounters setback