Teaching Kids to be Brave and Kind

I thought I’d pass on this article on the Momastry blog. It’s written by Glennon Doyle Melton and really resonated with me this week. From the look of the 1400 odd comments underneath it has for others, too.

The idea that an educator’s role is to simply raise achievement standards would rankle even the numbest teacher. There are so many things we do in our classes that can make or break children’s futures – it makes me baulk at the weight of that responsibility and to be honest, there have been times in my shortish career where I would admit that I’ve missed the wood for the trees.

This recount of a parent and their description of the efforts they take to look out for the lonely children in their class is inspirational and incredible challenging! But the line that stands out for me the most is right at the end.

Isn’t that what it’s all about. Do we teach children how to read and write? Yes. But we should also shape and inspire them to be resilient, to go outside their comfort zones and to move from being ego centric to thinking of others.
So, what does this mean for me? It means that when I have photocopying to quickly grab before the bell goes and a student comes to talk with me and make a connection before the start of the day… I will stop and listen and gift her some of my time. It sounds easy but with the pressures of teaching I can assure you that if my priorities are not right, it’s not.
There are lots of little things we can do to make every student feel accepted, safe, cared for and valuable. Lots of small things. And small things, I’m finding, add up to be big things.
Have we missed the point of teaching sometimes? Is it all about technology, innovative practice and passion? No. I wonder if it’s about helping kids be brave and kind. I also think that we need to model that to them, too. 

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