One of the areas I believe to be the most significant part of helping students feel safe and good about being at school is providing them with the choice to LEAD to Achieve! This could be a theme for your school year!
As we begin a new school year, our focus has to be on learning for All children. What we “have always done” is a saying we must remove from our conversations. I am not saying we throw out everything we are doing or have done; I am saying to stretch yourselves outside of the box to accept new possibilities. The need to understand new ways of delivery of instruction has arrived, and we can deliver to our student's various learning opportunities.
The technology presented new ways of instruction as we experienced a global pandemic. We need to continue to develop our skills and approaches to enhance our abilities to engage our students with a tool that is becoming as normal to them as it was for us to take notes on paper.
Negativity seems to echo through the world today. The whispers float in the air and land in our spaces bringing loud noises at times. Working to drown out the sounds is difficult for adults, and children find it even harder to escape when so many voices, sounds, and images continuously revolve on the reels inside their minds.
The rise of suicide among our youth, mental needs, drug use, and violence can be seen. The pressures, isolation, disconnection, and conditions of our youth must be addressed. Working to encourage is just one low-level beginning to a multi-step process in building a solid foundation of support for our youth. We need to begin with building it now. I will continue to provide ways to lift students but also provide them with the skills they need to take control of their life journey.
Change of any kind is always hard for anyone to accept. We become creatures of comfort and like to keep things the same as we move through our days. Having a level of acceptance can mean many things to many people. I often choose to use this word as we explore how to apply, understand and utilize it in our daily lives.
Acceptance of ourselves is an integral part of conquering. Many try to mold themselves into what others believe they should be, become confused by the many messages sent out on what is accepted in society, and then have others comment to them, triggering negative talk they have with themselves.
As I mentioned with encouragement, acceptance is also linked with suicide rates, mental health, and many pressures from various sources. It is also tricky to find ways to express your thoughts in a world of “cancel culture” where being accepted is not easy when you are not part of the “group think.” In my years of education, I firmly believe that education is something we do with children, not for them. We must allow independent thinking and opportunities to explore ideas, innovation, creativity, and discovery. We need to continue to find ways for acceptance to be back in our conversations in the many forms we need it. Acceptance of:
Helping children develop and grow is an important job. It does not rest on the shoulders of parents, one particular group, or society. It is a combination of all. If we divide up the time a child spends in a day, how does it look? How much time are they with family? How much time are they with teachers? How much time are they with friends? How much time are they engaging with technology (TV, IPAD, phone, computer, other devices)?
As a coach to principals, I have always asked them to highlight their calendars for me to identify how they spend their days. This allows us to look at how much time is spent on helping with teaching and learning (Instruction). Looking at children and how they spend their time is no different in helping them to develop.
We all want our children to develop their minds, bodies, and character to be the best they can be. Cluttering, muddying the water, and pulling in so many directions is not the best approach to reaching our goals. Did you know we only have 24 hours a day and children need 7-9 hours or if they are pre-school or younger, 10-12 hours?
Can we get back to focusing on what our children's needs are? We live together in a world we share as one. The development of the minds, encouragement, acceptance, and a continuous learning model, will LEAD to achievement.
If you want to utilize this as a theme for this year, please let me know, and I can send additional resources to you. Don’t worry; I do not charge anything. I will help create things specifically for your school because I want you and your staff to succeed, but most importantly, I like the children to continue to grow and lead! Please share this with anyone else who could utilize this information.