A blog that ties all the Littleton Public Schools cohorts together in a common reflection space.
Wow! That was a very emotional video and really made me stop and think about my own classroom. I was especially moved when the speaker reminded teachers that sometimes they (teachers) are the only ones who believe in them. As a teacher it is easy to forget that the simple high five and smile I give my kiddos each morning might be the only high five they get all day. When I give hugs throughout the day, it could be the only hug they receive. A simple gesture like a hug or a high five reminds my students that I see them and care about them. I also make a note to myself to try to focus on the positive. I never really know what is going on at home for my students so I really want school to be a safe, positive environment for them. I want each of my kiddos to know I care about them and will do my best to help them learn throughout the year. Yes, there will be bumps in the road but if we work together we can accomplish what we need to do!
Amazing young man! He demonstrates a strong belief in himself and is certainly inspiring. Belief in oneself is especially germane to success. Henry Ford nailed it- “Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” How do I show my high schoolers I believe in them? - one way is with authentic praise. Frivolous praise does little and perhaps damages the relationship. So I ask questions and get connected to them as much as they will allow me. I praise them for both academic and personal achievements that I know about. I try to be encouraging particularly when they are struggling. I tell them, "I'm one of your biggest cheerleaders! You can do this." I hope it all helps them believe in themselves.
I love how you mentioned supporting kids in and outside of the classroom. I think when we take an interest in their personal lives it helps build trust.
I have seen this video before but it is powerful every time! This young man embodies leadership and he has just the right message for school staff at this time of year. I love the the reminder that I must believe in my students, my colleagues, myself, and the idea that every child can be college ready to truly be living up to my highest potential as a teacher.What I thought about most as I watched this clip was how proud I am to be a member of the staff here in my building. We have faced serious challenges throughout the past couple of years and as a result we are going through enormous changes in our building. It has been hard and stressful at times but as I look back over our preparation last year and during the beginning of this year I can say that our work has been focused on showing our kids that we believe in them and that they can achieve.I have been using Steven Covey's 7 Habits to teach my kids about leadership. I have been talking to them about how everyone of us is a leader in something; it may not be reading or math but I want my kids to know that if they are a leader in making friends or public speaking (like this young man in the video, that is just as important and powerful. I have been working on setting goals SMART with my kids based on data, and they love tracking their progress and celebrating each week. I make a big deal out of small gains because I want them to know that I see them, I see their effort, I see their struggles and I believe they can do it. I really do believe in my kids and I hope my actions tell them that as much as my words.
testing, testing, 123
I believe all students can reach their highest potential if given the highest quality learning experience we teachers can provide. My participation in this Inspired Learning Cohort is not just to kill time on Saturdays. My reason for seeking new methods of instructional delivery is to improve the quality of students learning experience.
What does it practically look like when students know that all teachers in a school believe in them? I see this video in terms of student identity. Getting to the bottom of why a student lacks confidence in a particular subject is not easy to decipher. How might we inspire and lead students to thrive?
Bummer. I did not post my first comment correctly. I will try to sum up what I said in my original post. The young boy in the video is so inspiring. He is poised, organized, passionate and challenging others to rise to the occasion. I do believe that my students can and do achieve so many things that were never thought possible for so many of them. I teach Deaf and Hard of Hearing kids. They face many challenges, chiefly in the area of communication. But, just like a child who is in a wheel chair; if they have access they can thrive. My kids need communication access. It's such a fundamental human issue. Imagine not being able to communicate to a friend, to your mom, to a teacher, to a doctor, to a police officer...I believe that my students can and should have access to communication." Of course", you may say. Others believe that, "good enough" is the standard for which we should reach. I know! I sit there with my mouth unattractively agape when I hear those words. My students have every right to access to education that every other student has. Not ten minutes less, not excluding specials, not ignoring extracurricular activities. I believe that they can each reach, or even exceed their fullest potential (the bar is constantly rising) when they are afforded equal rights. My fear is that I am having a hard time believing in myself. Knowing something so passionately and having it seem so clear to me are a part of my daily life. My ability to kindly, tactfully and reasonably educate convince/educate others with thoughtful expression of what needs to be said is where I am faltering. I believe that my students can reach their fullest potential. I believe it in words and deeds. I wonder if others also believe it in words and deeds.
I really enjoyed watching this video. It reminded me about a lecture I recently attended. Although I have heard this before, the speaker emphasized that the only person I can control is myself. So, knowing this, I can make a real difference in remembering to allow students to empower themselves ... and encourage them to succeed. Sometimes that means stepping back; sometimes that means stepping forward; but that always means showing students that I care and believe in their potential, not their shortcomings.
What a great reminder of why I am a teacher! While I have seen the video before, it is always good to be reminded of the sentiment of the kids speech. I haven't really pondered how I show the kids that I believe in them, but in reflecting on my practice I can think of a few ways that I am showing belief in them throughout the year. I release them from my complete oversight of their organization, and daily routine to trusting that they have got the ability to do it on their own. I hold them accountable to what I know that they can achieve, showing them that I have faith in their abilities. Finally, I consistently let them know that they are scientists when they enter my classroom, therefore they have all they need to be successful in my class. I believe that these things empower the kids to do their best and have a pride in knowing that they can be successful!
A classroom community where students know that you believe in them is essential to maximize student learning. I try to build meaningful relationships with my students and get to know them so they know how invested I am in their education and growth. By listening, asking questions about their lives and learning about their cultural beliefs and values I earn their trust and build their confidence. I take the time, effort and energy to deliver engaging and challenging lessons. I set high expectations and hold my students accountable for listening and learning. I give authentic feedback and praise to guide and encourage. I treat my students with love and respect, staying positive, but being realistic and true. I tell them I believe in them and how much I care. And, I truly do believe in them.
I echo the same sentiments of many of classmates, what a great reminder of why we do what we do. It's so easy to get wrapped up in the chaos of a school year and lose focus of what really matters, the kids! I think the most important thing I can do to show students I believe in them is to hold them to the high standard they deserve. It's easy to become frustrated and to lose hope in a student's potential, (especially in middle school :) But everyday I am back in that classroom trying new things to engage students, to challenge them, and ultimately help them achieve goals they never thought possible.
The first time I saw this video was a few years ago when it was played by my principal at a staff meeting. I liked watching it again! This student sends a powerful message that is perfect for teachers to hear at the beginning of the school year. I believe in my students by delivering challenging content every single day. The rigor of my classroom now (in a Title 1 elementary school) is no different from the affluent charter school that I taught in before coming to LPS. I know that if it is offered they will achieve it. I continue to tell my students and show them that they will have success. Sometimes that means changing the delivery of the instruction, but it's my job to make sure they all know that I truly believe they can do it. I also make sure I make a big deal of it when they do finally meet their goals, so they can see how good it feels to work through something difficult and come out on top. And just like the boy says in the video, the school faculty truly is sometimes all some children have...I read something the other day that said "The kids who need the most love will ask for it in the most unloving ways". This is a great reminder to myself that my job is very rewarding, but also very tough - and these children need me and I can never, ever give up on them.
I recall discussing in one of my grad classes the importance of teachers in light of technological developments in education, and everyone unanimously felt that the personal element, especially at younger ages, is vital to their success. While parents are often times the biggest factor in a child's sense of confidence, teachers lead the way on the academic front, and it is a rare student who has natural confidence and drive. When we consider how we "adapt and overcome" the myriad of obstacles (characters, skill sets, predispositions, academic deficiencies, etc.) to meet our students' needs, it is clear what kind of influence we have on them. If we don't respond to their needs, it will inevitably result in a sense of failure or helplessness. What I think is important to remember as educators is that we are all a part of building these children, and no one teacher usually "solves the riddle." Your quote about asking for love "in the most unloving ways" is also a great point, even if it's a challenge to remember in the thick of it.
This video was perfect timing for me because I am starting a new school year and meeting new students. I show students I believe in them by setting high expectations and building rapport. I take time to call parents, connect with the students on a personal level, and allow students to share their successes in the classroom. When students strive to do their best, they begin to truly believe in themselves and know that they can do it. This video also reminded me that I need to believe in myself, even when my day feels more difficult. My colleagues are so inspiring to me, I am amazed by what the teachers in and outside of my building know and can do in their practice. I hope to learn many new ways to engage my students through refining my own practice this year.
Watching this video reminded me why I teach. We touch the lives of so many children every day and sometimes we are the only ones who do believe in them. My students know I believe in them as I convey to them that they are capable of achieving anything they work hard towards. The beginning of the school year is all about building a rapport with students and their families. I also start the school year out by setting high goals with my students. Together we work towards these goals and students receive praise for their progress. I look forward to a year of working with my students to see them accomplish their goals.
After reading all of your comments, you all really summed up my thoughts. This video represents a child's perspective on what teachers mean to him. Like some of you, I have seen this video before, but I always find it inspirational and perfect timing for the beginning of the school year. If we don't believe in our children, who will?
This video made me think about the teachers that motivated me as a learner and made me feel believed in. They created a classroom that was welcoming and felt safe, made me feel like my story, idea, or answer was listened to- whether right or wrong. But more than anything else these memorable teachers made learning fun! These are the things I try to provide my students with. I want them to feel part of a learning family where they belong, are safe to express themselves, make mistakes, learn a lot and have fun doing it! I want my students to know I, and as important their classmates, believe in who they are as unique individuals and learners. Belief in each other is what makes a team successful. We're a team!
I BELIEVE!!!!!! I believe that making a difference is why I wanted to be a teacher. Teachers know going into this profession that you are their to guide children in the right direction and that you will wear many hats....if only there was a monetary side to it;-)After our time together yesterday and my 2nd year in Littleton its nice to see that the teachers in this district believe in all children. I love how Littleton leave the politics out of education. If only the other districts could do this they might be as awesome as our district. We are all here because we all believe in our future and we will not stop until its done. I realized that we all love to learn and want to make ourselves better. I wanted to congratulate how awesome you all are and how much you mean to the kids. Thank you for being you!
My response to this video is actually somewhat pensive. The young man's performance was certainly engaging, and his point was driven home well, but what struck me was the comment about how we are sometimes the only ones they have that do believe in them. A child's confidence is often planted by others who demonstrate their faith in him or her. Today we are facing more and more students who are missing those seeds, or are simply not nourished enough to grow their own confidence and potential. I have encountered a number of students that have covered their lack of confidence with unhealthy behaviors or attitudes, and I only remain encouraged by the idea that what I do is plant the seed. Rarely do any of us get to really see the fruits of our labors, so in a sense, there is an element of faith and optimism we must possess to keep our own confidence. I know what drives me to encourage my students is knowing that I simply don't know their stories and that they all need love. I can't count how many students in my brief years of teaching I hear about having destructive family lives - from divorce, substance abuse, absentee parents, negligence, and so many other scenarios. I can't possibly hope to cure these kids myself, but I know I can nudge their trajectory closer to a more successful target. I think demonstrating my faith in my kids begins with the relationship I form with them. I am not simply an adult to my students, because my role is somewhat more personal than a difference in age or station. I banter with them, I ask them about their interests, I respond to their situations. I also try to maintain high but obtainable standards that communicate my own dedication to their progress. I've met too many teachers who fall victim to their students' own lack of confidence by giving up on challenging them. This, to me, does not communicate a confidence in their potential. It is definitely a challenge to strike the balance between grace and accountability, but in the end, if we seek perspective on challenging students, if we seek out answers to help them, if we use compassion as the mortar of our craft, they will find the confidence to move forward.