WHAT WOULD OUR WORLD BE LIKE IF EVERY CHILD WERE GUIDED IN WAYS TO HELP THEM MAXIMIZE THEIR FULL POTENTIAL?
Notice I didn't mention striving for any kind of academic standards. It is my experience and the experience of many that young people who are "successful" in the broadest definition of that word, are successful in school. Academic success, while important, should be seen as an important by product.
So what should we focus on with children we teach? I bet you already know… intuitively. I'll mention just some of the intangibles that build strong young minds and hearts.
- Affirming yourself
- Affirming others
- Trusting yourself
- Trusting others
- Risking for Meaningful Growth
There's more of course!
- Loving yourself
- Loving others
- Solving your own problems
- Social Emotional Development
- Creating an internal desire to explore, discover and yes, learn!
What happens if adults are treated with this same sense of discovery and a desire to maximize their own potential. Enjoy this video that describes a creative team at a church that my colleague Corey Ferrugia of MyTown Music and I led with all of the above in mind.
In addition to academic success, what happens to children when they are led in this manner? Enjoy the following video which highlights children/youth ages 4 - 19.
We need to remember why we chose the profession of teaching in the first place. While letters, numbers, scientific thinking and many other academic areas are critically important, it is how we share this information that can form life long learners who become self-motivated to strive for their potential. We can and need to create autonomy in our youngest generation. This means we need to think about how often we use the following:
- Open ended questions
- Time enough for a response to be shared
- Authentic Dialogue
- Paying attention to what a child does and says and letting that inform how we interact with them
- Building a sense of authentic community in our classrooms
- Sharing all of the above with parents
No easy task, but well worth it. Have a wonderful Holiday Season!