When a child walks into your life, what thoughts race through your head? Are they thoughts of…
excitement? Excitement for the opportunity to have someone’s precious child in your life. A chance to make a difference. A gift of time to impact their life… to open doors and encourage them to walk through!
wonder? Wonder of who they are under that smile… frown… or look of fear. Wonder of how you will connect and build a relationship that will set sail the journey of learning together.
worry? Worried that you may not be able to connect. Worry that they may be the most challenging student you have had to date. Worried that their own life may hold them back from trusting you. Worry that you don’t have enough time in a day to make a difference.
judgement? Judgement of who they are…
When you walk into a child’s life, are their thoughts the same? Are you setting the stage for a relationship with EVERY child…
Do you make school exciting? Do you give them a reason to be there?
Do you create a connection to every child or do they wonder why they don’t fit in your world like others do?
Do you foster a caring environment? One that eliminates worry from their life… possibly the only stretch of time in their day to let their shoulders down.
Do your students feel judged? Or do you give every child a “Planet Fitness: Judgement Free Zone”?
This Christmas I received a very special gift from a very quiet and reserved child. A child that walked into my room withdrawn, with limited social interaction, lack of engagement, and little interest in school. None of this due to home life… as a matter of fact he comes from a beautiful loving family that builds him up and sets him off each day to conquer the world trusting that his teacher will bring out his best.
This precious child handed me a special gift. Then he did something that caught me off guard… he insisted on opening it for me, which warmed my heart to the core because he was so invested in the moment. He unwrapped a snow globe that took my breath away. It had a 3 dimensional silver snowflake with the words WISH*LOVE*HOPE that sparkled while music played and snow floated effortlessly within the globe. He said, “Oh Mrs. Nan, I know the snow globe is nice, but look what it says to you.” To which I looked at the inscription that read:
“Students may forget what you said, but never how you made them feel.”
Tears of joy streamed down my face. Not the first time my students have seen my emotions. Why? Because they impact my life!
Over the months we connected. We found his passion of art and embedded it into his learning through sketch-noting (THANK YOU Carrie Baughcum @HeckAwesome in my EDUAwesome @Twitter PLF) This child is now engaged. He is building relationships stemming from the one that we created together. He is happy to be in school and moving his bright mind forward with each given day. He is a #LeadLearner with Sketchnoting, #MakeyMakey and #Osmo in class. He has found relevance in learning and a purpose for being a part of a learning community. He is empowered!
I start my Christmas vacation with heart full… of love and joy for I know that I have lived by my own advice…
You WILL have impact on EVERY child… it is up to you whether it is POSITIVE or negative!
So with that I leave us with my favorite George Couros quote from one of my favorite books, Innovator’s Mindset:
Merry Christmas! May your holiday be as bright and beautiful as YOU!