Equipping Students to Build a Life, Not Just a Living

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Photo CC – By Nasim Fekrat

 

Allow me to set the stage for the content of this post; I have just watched Logan LaPlante’s TEDx Talk: Hackshooling Makes Me Happy. (If you haven’t watched this, click here to go watch it…after you read my post!) I also have just read a post by Bud Hunt called “Centering on Essential Lenses” which you can find here. The following are my thoughts in response.

First off, wow! Logan LaPlante, you go dude!

Second off, what an insight from a teenager who gets it. Props to Logan’s parents for having his best interests at heart and raising a great kid.

As an educator, I know I will have students who walk into my classroom after seeing or hearing things at home no child should have to. Students who woke up and got their younger siblings ready or were the younger sibling being taken care of. Some students will enter my classroom coming from a rough and tough home-life and some students will enter having received a full nights sleep with a healthy and balanced breakfast. Some students will be ready for the day and some students will daydream about sleeping and being a kid.

I will have students from different backgrounds, lifestyles, and family units, however, the bottom line is, all my students will have the desire to be happy. All my students will deserve the opportunity to grow, explore, play, find their passion, and learn. All my students will deserve the chance to form real relationships with not only me but their classmates. All my students will deserve my attention, time, encouragement, kindness, and to know I am on their team and want to see them reach their potential.

That being said, Logan posed an excellent question. Why are our schools today not equipping our students, future generations and future leaders of this world, to be happy and practice healthy lifestyle choices? Why are we tearing our students down because they did not reach the level on standardized tests that we wanted thus losing money for the school? Why are we not teaching our students to build each other up and stand together when they need each other rather than always pointing out the faults in the other person? Why are we making education about money and not modeling to our students happiness and love?

In an effort to be love revolution for my students, hacking, allowing my kids to play, create and make things will be essential. Part of being an effective teacher includes all three. Finding the most efficient and practical way to teach my students will save time, yes, but also show them it is okay to change how to do things if it means its for the better. Fostering the imagination and creativity instilled in my kids will prove to be one of the best things I can do for them. I will be allowing them to discover their passions, learn how to think critically, problem solve, learn the value of hard work, and learn how to take ownership for their thoughts and ideas.

In my classroom, we will build, create, and make. We will learn by doing because it one of the best ways. My students will remember what I tell them better if they are actually doing it rather than just listening to me talk.

In my classroom, we will hack. When we are presented with a situation that is not going the way it should or could, we will fix it. We will work together to understand and create a solution to our problems.

In my classroom, we will play. We will dress up, sing, dance, be silly, and get creative. I will challenge my students to stand up for themselves and share their thoughts.

In my classroom, my students will learn how to be and stay happy and healthy. We will grow together, encourage each other along the way, and celebrate victories, especially the little ones. We will learn by making and playing, hack our learning, and be happy. We will do all this because my students deserve it. They deserve to have a steady, consistent adult in their lives who encourages them to learn more, to think deeper, but also to be a kid.  They deserve someone who loves them. They deserve someone who is happy to see them each day. My students are worth it and I’m going to prove it to them.

 

Sincerely,

A Teacher Who Desires to be a Love Revolution for her Students

 

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Photo CC-By Brian Metcalfe

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4 thoughts on “Equipping Students to Build a Life, Not Just a Living

  1. Cara! Wow, I loved this blog post. I found it incredibly insightful. I, too, loved Logan’s TED Talk. He was so wise for being so young (I totally agree with what you said- props to his parents). I also really loved your notion of a love revolution. Caring for our students (and showing them that we do so) is honestly one of the most important aspects of the job to me. I’ve had so many fabulous teachers that have cared for me, and I can’t imagine where I would be without them.

    • Regan,
      Thanks! (: I agree! Sometimes, we may be one of few constant adults in our students lives who truly care for them and show it. It most definitely is important! I’m glad you had teachers who cared! Thanks for reading!
      Cara

  2. I am all for the love revolution, LOL. I’ve been a teacher for 20 years now, and I believe that the most important thing I can do in the classroom is care for my students. That and get out of their way! More time for playing, making, creating, and hacking is so essential. School has gotten so far away from that (most schools anyway), and I think that’s the main reason school doesn’t meet the needs of so many kids. I know we can do better!

    • I so agree! I am excited to be learning ways I can better serve my students in my classroom. I want my classroom to be different than traditional school. I’m all for my students learning their own ways and want to do what I can to help them!

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