It’s a hard time of the year for educators. As we move ever closer to spring break and deep into testing prep season, students are tired. Teachers are tired. Energy and effort lags. And when student struggles present themselves, educators are in a unique position to either empower or enable students, depending of course, on the choices we make. Follow me as I work my way to the point of this blog.
I had a truly incredible time presenting at the GETCA conference in Edmonton this week, though my body was whining about the -23 degree weather. I became immediately more climate tolerant, however, when I found out -23 is the exact temperature it must be before Edmonton elementary students have indoor recess. And if I understand correctly, students in northern Canada endure outside recess in even colder weather. Wowzer. Kids are much more resilient than we allow them to be. It just goes to show – we set the bar and kids adapt to our expectations accordingly. Unfortunately, some of our practices lower the bar, or simply remove it all together.
As tensions rise during the school year and students face challenges, too often teachers tend to jump in and fix things. [Trust me – I speak from experience.] Unfortunately, when this happens, we miss out on opportunities allowing students to do so on their own. When children encounter obstacles, rather than solving the problems, teach them to “push through”. Break the barriers. Find a way. Make things work. This not only provides kids the chance to learn from their experiences, but it also sends the message, “I believe in you and your ability to independently work through this on your own.” Now what could be a better lesson for kids of all ages than that?
PS – I’m thankful for late night professional discourse, synergy, and the wonderful inner core of Jasmyn Wright, CEO of Push Through for the inspiration of this post. (@just_jasmyn)