I think it's easier now than ever before to be envious of someone else. Social media gives us a quick glance into a person's life through snapshots. Unfortunately, it makes it easy for us to assume that because they are smiling in a picture that they are happy. Or that they have life so easy because it appears that they have what we do not.
When in reality, success is like an iceberg. We only see a small fraction of the amount of time and effort people put in to have what they have. There is so much more below the surface.
In school, it's especially easy for some of our kids to get frustrated when things do not go their way. For example, that moment in school when the teacher passes back a test. You fail it but your neighbor got a 100%. Now, it may have been easy for them - maybe they did not need to study. But reality is, I'm sure they put in the time and effort to get that good grade.
I talk to my kids a lot about taking their time, doing their best and being persistent when things get tough. Teaching is not just about teaching kids their math facts or how to spell words. It's about instilling in them good work habits, a growth mindset and ....well the list could go on.
Our job as educators is to light a fire - or at least spark a fire. Whether it keeps burning or not - that is their choice. But our job is to spark it and allow our students the opportunity to develop into more than what they thought possible.
To me, this quote was a showstopper.
I can honestly say I've said it myself - that we need to prepare our students for the real world.
But in reality, most of them are experiencing a world we will never understand.
We need to prepare them the best we can to fit into a world where technology is at the forefront.
Where life changes in a blink of an eye.
Where new jobs are being created that people 50 years ago never thought of.
I get frustrated when I see popular Instagram accounts where picture after picture is a cute new worksheet or activity that you can purchase off TeachersPayTeachers for your students to do.
Yet, those “activities” do not instill creativity.
In fact, they limit it.
Let’s look at education and see how we can change it for our kids.
I’ve said this once, and I know I’ll say it again, create small changes.
Take it step by step.
Put away the old worksheet you’ve brought out year after year and allow students to live in a world of creativity and innovation.
Where they are guiding their learning.
Filling their minds with possibilities by collaborating and researching.
Where they do not have to fill in the blank.
That is preparing them for the future
That is creating a better tomorrow for our youth.
What does that mean?
To each person, it may mean something a little different. But to me, true learning means…
“Every child posses a creative spirit that will either blossom when nurtured or wither if stifled.” –Lisa Daly & Miriam Beloglovsky
The other day I was out at my brother’s garden checking out his new irrigation system that he was installing. As I was watching him tinker around with hoses, I began thinking about how I have watched him tinker with things his whole life. His mind never stops being creative.
Since he was young, he has always come up with a new project to dive into. My mother never told him he couldn’t – she always allowed him to explore the possibilities. Like the time he wanted to take a part an old computer, he was not discouraged. Looking at him today, at the age of 25, I believe that is why he has rebuilt a truck, designed an organic garden including putting in a water system, is now rebuilding a classic car and the list goes on.
When I was in elementary school, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. My fourth grade teacher sparked a light inside me that has never burned out. There is something about the profession that fuels my soul. I love researching new ideas and trying them out…it makes me fall in love with teaching all over again. But most importantly, I love sparking a love for learning in my students.
An education is not a thing one gets, but a lifelong process.
For young kids, tying your shoes is a big accomplishment - but it is also very challenging. Michelle, from Full House, got extremely frustrated trying to learn. She had given up and decided to throw all her shoes with laces out….until her uncle stopped her. They had discussion about the process of learning and how we don’t just stop – we persist! After that, her mindset shifted and she kept trying.
Have you had conversations with your kids about success?
It's important we talk to kids about the work we put into being successful. Success doesn't happen without hard work, mistakes and - well the list is endless. If we don’t have conversations with our kids about the process of learning, they won’t know that success comes from hard work. It’s easy for anyone to see the end result of something and never think about all the work that goes into it beforehand.
To promote life long learners, we need to have those conversations and empower our kids to take risks and learn new things. It’s through the whole learning process, good and bad, that we expand our minds and grow.
Until next time,