My worn out shoes seen here in this post tell a story. A story that opened my eyes at a time that could not be more perfectly placed.
My daughter Ava is 2.5 years old and she struggles a bit with speaking and formulating words. It creates frustration for both her and us at times when we cannot understand one another properly. Yesterday, Ava and I went outside after she was having a moment that all two year olds have from time to time:). After finally getting outside she became angry because she clearly wanted something else. I assumed she was tired and just being a bit whiny. She kept trying to go inside even though we just came outside after she was throwing a fit to be outside. During this moment I was growing frustrated because I did not know what she wanted. She was growing frustrated with me because I was not helping her meet her needs. It was quickly becoming a lose lose situation very quickly. The reason was simply because I was being a typical adult.
I assumed everything wrong.
All she wanted was to go inside real quick to bring me my shoes. She wanted to put my shoes on so we could go play.
I felt terrible. Here I was misinterpreting what she wanted and all she wanted to do was help! It was at this moment that it hit me!
Tuesday, we are blessed to have Angelia Maiers come to Bettendorf to work with some of our 8th graders. These students will have an opportunity to have their voices heard. Students who we don't always give a chance to have their voices heard will be able to share their ideas and enact on a topic that they hold dear to their heart.
I wonder how many times our students/own kids behave a certain way to try to convey an idea or message to only have it misinterpreted by adults? The reason is because sometimes we just don't know how to express what we need to get off our chest. If we can work to help kids help express their ideas and at the same time work with adults to help them not jump to conclusions how many great ideas could be enacted on?
Working on myself as both a father and as an educator I hope to work on my own skills of helping students get their ideas out. I think sometimes the hardest thing to do is to convey ideas that are vital to our own lives.
Simon Sinek discusses in his book how "our behavior is affect by our assumption or our perceived truths. We make decisions based on what we think we know." I wonder how often as educators we make improper decisions based on false assumptions?
All these ideas are swirling in my head and I cannot wait to put them to practice.
I am so excited to work with Angela and teachers of Bettendorf to help students find their ideas and passions to pursue. We will work very hard to help students broadcast to the world their ideas. We want all kids to share their ideas.
The biggest obstacles I see are the following
- students not confident enough to share their ideas because they think their ideas are not worth it or important enough.
- students stripping away the label and brand they have crafted for themselves as students. I really believe the best ideas to come forth Tuesday will come from the students who are considered not the best students.
- students really working with others besides their friends. Diversity is key when it comes to brainstorming
I know that personally these are the three things I will strive to work on with the students Tuesday and throughout our semester long project. I know Angela will help to eliminate these issues through her workshop. I know that Tuesday students will not be the only ones learning!
My goals with this project are personal as well. I will try to be a better father and educator by looking inward and adjusting how I treat situations where I don't always give people the proper time to share what they need to share.
I thank my daughter Ava for enlightening me at the most crucial point in time as I get ready to help students change the world!