Adults, are we listening?
Three lessons from elementary school this week.
(1) Mrs. Hullender teaches 1st grade at the Atlantic Beach Elementary School. Last Tuesday I had the opportunity to visit her classroom during a mini leadership conference. That’s right. 1st grade students learning about leadership, writing goals, reviewing their goals, sharing their goals, and answering questions about their goals. Impressive.
On Wednesday, I visited a 3rd grade class. The students and their teacher, Mrs. Farinella, proudly spoke about “goals, goals, and leadership roles.” One student walked me through her notebook tracking her goals for the school year. She showed me her goals poster hung in the hallway with pride. One of the goals had her thinking about college—and what she would be doing ten years after college. Perhaps these kids need to help adults set financial and wealth management goals!
(2) The students and the teachers amazed me with their energy and sense of direction. Consider Mrs. Hullender’s classroom for a moment. Personalized notes. Word lists. Art. Student names. Photos. Drawings. Manipulatives. Listening (reflecting) areas. Personalized name plates. Books. Technology. And so much more. In fact, all of the teachers take pride in developing their rooms and creating environments that encourage teaching and learning. I taught middle school, high school, and college. I’m not sure I could have kept pace with these amazing, creative, and resourceful teachers. I wonder if the average community member understands the time, effort, thought, and (teacher) money that goes into creating an engaging and interactive classroom for elementary school students. It takes more than just “showing up” for class.
(3) Among the many learning aids, reminders, and enticements in Mrs. Hullender’s room you will spy a multicolored sign with six different reinforcement messages. From top to bottom, the messages read
- You’re Awesome
- Way to Go
- Ready to Learn
- Slow Down
- Don’t Give Up
- Think About It
It appears that at the beginning of each day, the student names (on clothespins) all start at Ready to Learn. (Isn’t that the option we all have each day we awaken? What do we do with that gift?) Depending on what they do, the student markers move up and/or down the scale. In this way students receive feedback about their actions creating consequences for not only themselves but for those around them. Leaders learning about leadership on a daily basis.
I’d bet you know people who deserve to spend a bit of time in the “Think About It” level. Just watch the news and you will find plenty of candidates.
Set and monitor your goals. Create excitement. Everyday provides opportunities to grow. Lessons we can all live and grow by today, tomorrow, and the rest of our lives. Lessons from 1st and 3rd Grade.
Thank you Mrs. Hullender and Mrs. Farinella. Our world needs more people like you and your students.
Video recommendation of the week.
More lessons. This time from 5th Graders at ABE. These young leaders took time to share what it means to be a leader. In this short clip from the longer podcast, they share lessons about stress reduction.
Again, adults, are we listening?
Pearson Education publishes my student textbooks for life success—Choices for College Success (3rd edition) and Study Skills: Do I Really Need This Stuff? (3rd edition).
(c) 2017. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.