Sunday Snippet: Changing Teachers’ Views!
Having been a teacher in both public and private schools before becoming and educator in the camp setting, I was always puzzled by the tone of some (not all!) of the conversations heard in the teachers lounge – conversations about our students and bemoaning their poor behavior, their lack of motivation, the lack of parental support and on and on. I also felt sad when I heard one student being judged on the past poor behavior of an older sibling.
Now I get that school teaching has its share of frustrations and teachers often use the lounge to get it out so they can return to the classroom reenergized. And I am not faulting those teachers for experiencing or even sharing those frustrations – I, too felt them! Some kids misbehave, some are not always sufficiently motivated, some have little parental support. But care must be taken when venting as it can be a very slippery slope leading to overgeneralization which ultimately has the tendancy to reduce our expectations of all our students.
So… what if we vented our students’ successes? Might that raise our expectations of those we are guiding? An interesting thought! A recent Tedx talk by New York teacher Clint Smith suggests just that – Celebrating Resilience – Reframing the Narrative Around Our Students. He suggests that all of us take responsibility for our words and make decisions of what we have to say about our children and our students.
“My students have turned my classroom into a symphony of second chances… So when we speak of them, let us speak of humanity. Let us speak of perseverance. Let us speak of how funny they are. Let us speak of how courageous they are. Let us not focus so much on the shadow that we failed to see, but what stands above it!”
Here is Clint’s talk in its entirety – Enjoy!
Empowering our staff to see each child as an individual capable of success is something that we intentionally provide through staff training and guidance at WeHaKee. When the narrative is positive the possibilities are endless! Thanks for joining us and have a great week!