I have never been a student in a SBG classroom and I have to admit that I'm a little jealous of my students. When our school district first started SBG we had a meeting for parents so we could give them some information and to allow them to ask questions. I remember one parent in particular stating that SBG was not real life. She stated that in real life you don't get a second chance. I disagree.
I was running the other day and I still feel like a beginner. In all fairness, I am a beginner as I've started running less than two years ago. I didn't know how to get over this beginner hump and was telling my woes to a fellow running group member, who happens to also be my pastor and a marathon runner. The next day at church he hands me a copy of the running plan that he follows and explains to me how it works. Right then something clicked inside me. I didn't feel hopeless or lost anymore. I felt like this was something that I could do and now I had direction.
What was the difference? I was in control and I had little goals to reach for. If I didn't reach a little goal the first time that I tried, then no big deal, I would sit down look at what happened and try again. When I was running on my own or using the couch-to-whatever beginner programs I had no real direction, just go out there and run. I now have little goals or outcomes that I need to become proficient in so that I can pass to the next level of running (or algebra 2 in school).
I remember telling people that I hated running. The only reason that I ran was because I like how I felt afterwards, never during. I HATED it. I would fight with myself to get out there. Then once I was out there I would fight with myself to keep running and not walk. I see this same attitude in some of my "good" students. They'll do it, but their heart's not into it. The only reason they do it is because they like the outcome whether it's a good grade, promotion to the next class, or just behaving. But now I don't hate running. I actually enjoy the process. I like that I'm in control of my breathing, injury prevention, and enjoyment. I want my students to have this same epiphany. I want something to click one day where they feel like they are in control (not me) and the process can be fun, not a chore.