Being a “good student” according to commonsense is often idealistic. We imagine the good students as quiet, smart, and well behaved. Students are expected to sit quietly in their desks and stay on task during class. Students who obey the teacher and do their work as expected are considered the “good” and “normal” children while those who do not are considered “bad” or “not good” students. The students who can learn well by sitting and listening or sitting and reading are the children who often benefit from this type of model but a lot of children do not learn like this.
This type of thinking often creates a barrier between the teacher and student if the student does not behave according to the social standards placed on them. A lot of students do not fit this idealistic version of a good student, especially those with a learning impairment. Children who need different teaching and learning methods can have difficulty with school because they do not fit the good student role and often get in trouble because of it. These students often get played off as stupid or not worth it but that is almost never the case. This model does not support these types of children and can make it harder for them to learn in schools.
We need to take into account all children’s learning styles and find ways to make adaptive changes in the classroom when necessary. The base model of schools has not changed which can make it difficult to interrupt the narrative but until we do there will always be a separation for the students who do not function as well in this type of situation. We as teachers need to also interrupt the narrative that there are “good” and “bad” students because every child is different. By interrupting this narrative we can better educate each child and give each child more equal opportunities.