Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Everyone Deserves A Cheering Section

“Every Kid Needs A Champion.” This is the first thing written at the top of my syllabus. It comes from this TED talk by Rita Pierson:

At yesterday's conference, George Couros made me rethink those words... What about, “Everyone deserves a cheering section”? As teachers, if we are only giving our students one teacher to connect with over the course of their day or year, that isn’t nearly enough. Every single one of us needs to be fostering meaningful connections and building relationships with our students - and with each other. As I sat in George’s sessions and talked with him during lunch, I was reminded of the tremendous power we all have to impact each other’s lives. Every conversation or interaction we have with another person is an opportunity to connect, grow and learn. George changed the entire course of my day by offering to have a conversation with me. He listened, asked questions, and offered advice. So much so, that I felt supported and encouraged enough to finally step outside of my comfort zone and write my first blog post in years! Relationships are truly everything.

At the intersection of relationship building and learning is social emotional work. I went to a few great sessions yesterday on this topic. While I am just beginning to dip my toes into the water of RULER and Marc Brackett’s work, on the most basic level we can all agree that emotions are complex and often messy. To build stronger relationships and guide our students in becoming excellent people, we have a responsibility to help them identify & unpack their emotions. Hopefully, this will lead to meaningful connections, deeper learning, and a stronger sense of self. I want to be the first person in the cheering section for each and every one of my students. I firmly believe there is something to love and admire in every single kid in my classroom. 

Moving forward, I plan to blog regularly (every Wednesday) and share my own stories through the encouragement of my own personal cheering section. By blogging, I am hoping to flesh out my own passions while connecting with those of you who are my cheerleaders - or anyone in need of a cheerleader of their own. I am here to support and encourage you! Thank you to my biggest supporter right now, George Couros, whose words of advice and encouragement were exactly what I desperately needed at a pivotal time. Thank you, George, for giving me the push to start writing again. See you all next Wednesday!

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