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It’s Not the Students…It’s Us.

It’s not the students. It’s us.

The evidence from CT3’s work suggests that educators formulate their cultural responsiveness through connections with the people, places and experiences that reciprocate value. If we do not value the output we are getting from students and our coaches do not push us to own our areas of growth, students can end up being targeted as the root cause of ineffective classrooms. The narrative of historically marginalized students is deficit-laced and lacks teacher ownership.

The first step of NNN, precise directions, cultivates in teachers the belief that all students possess endless potential for fruitful harvests. It’s not the students getting in their own way, it’s us. Again, it’s not the students, it’s us. This sentiment is not just the title of this blog on the strengths of No-Nonsense Nurturing (NNN), but is the inspiration that drives my work as an educator.

NNN often appears basic on the surface but under the immediate crust are layers of rich soil, precious gems, and rare earths that can be mined and refined into the opportunities that drive positive life-altering relationships and classroom culture. I use the term rich because precise directions or articulating exactly what you want students to do is the gateway to prosperity for student success and the currency of teaching excellence.

Precise Directions empower teachers to closely craft and mediate specifically what they want to do. If directions are not precise, the student outputs can misinform both teacher perception and student efficacy. By continuously examining our directions, and pushing for the precise, we as teachers grow a more culturally responsive lens and fertilize how students see themselves as scholars.


by Norman Merrifield, M.ED

Advocate for students, families and empowering teaching practices, Norman is known for his highly motivating, highly impactful professional development. His passion for teaching and learning and enthusiasm for student voice feeds his quest towards pedagogical cultural responsiveness.

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