With the start of a new school year comes the excitement of new plans and projects. You start with one and before you know it you have a list from flexible seating to diving deeper with design thinking, reflecting more, exploring Microbits and livebeacons. The list gets longer and longer as you read and browse, chat with colleagues. Then that overwhelming sensation starts creeping in. Where to start? I get why colleagues sometimes ask what initiative should I pick? Which one should I focus in on? Exciting goals and plans quickly turn in to a long list of individual to dos.
As participants came in to our Primary Basic AQ course this summer, this quote was on the screen from How Learning Happens:
Children are competent, capable of complex thinking, curious, and rich in potential. They grow up in families with diverse social, cultural, and linguistic perspectives. Every child should feel that he or she belongs, is a valuable contributor to his or her surroundings, and deserves the opportunity to succeed.
We came back to the quote time and time again. It was our anchor as we explored, discussed, challenged. Although we have used the quote each session I think what caught me off guard was how the idea of seeing kids as competent, capable, rich in potential kept coming up in our discussions in the Teacher Leadership course as well. The more I reflected on the quote I realized it became a lens that brought all the pieces together. It all comes back to the child. Our list of ideas, strategies, resources to explore may be long but if we keep this is mind, they just become a tool to empower and engage.
And then I thought…
Do I look at educators, parents, leaders with the same lens? Do I assume positive intentions and realize we share a common passion for education? How am I sparking curiosity? Do I value their past experiences?
Then the hardest reflection…
Do I look at myself and my work from that same lens? Can I say I’m compentent, capable and curious? Am I acknowledging how my past affects my practice?
So as a new year begin and the ideas start swirling, I’m printing off the quote as a daily reminder to focus on our competent, capable, curious and rich in potential friends.