So I’ve been thinking a lot about my last post and how the word “fact” implies certainty. If I believe something to be a fact, then I have certainty that it is true. In the situation I described, there were so many variables and emotions at play. Very little, if anything, about the situation was certain and much was left to interpretation.
The parents I described in the last post were concerned about their son’s academic needs. In the past they had been told by teachers and psychologists that their son was gifted. The possibility of him attending college in the future was based on this past declaration of his academic potential. Now any certainty of that future was fading as his academic skills continued to regress.
I was concerned about their son’s anxiety and was trying to help his parents to understand how we were addressing his academic needs while being sensitive to his emotional needs. Reducing his anxiety was my number one priority in that moment. I feared that his anxiety would continue to hinder his performance, but I was never certain. My fear was an emotion based on what I had observed and what the data was showing. Data is an important tool used for making educational decisions. However, data cannot predict with 100% certainty what is or isn’t possible for a student’s future. Life is much more complicated than that.
Even though this student’s academic skills were beginning to lag behind, I shared the view that he was bright and full of potential. I was not certain of his future, how could I be? But I held onto the hope of what could be.