Tuesday, January 31, 2017

They Need Us More than Ever

I am going to say what's been on my mind for the past 4 months.  After listening to the debates, watching the political events leading up to the election, and the first week in office, I am deeply worried about what the future holds for us.  More importantly, I am worried about the behavior being modeled to my seven and four year-old boys by the so-called leaders at the highest level.

As educators, we work extremely hard to develop a variety of academic skills whether we are providing direct instruction, project based learning, or facilitating a discussion about a current event. The academic content that we teach kids is extremely important and should never be underestimated; however, what matters most to me are the critical life skills that will serve our students for many years to come.

Image Credit: cgma.org
Thomas Hoerr outlines five success skills within his new book entitled The Formative Five: Fostering Grit, Empathy, and Other Success Skills that Every Student Needs.  The skills that serve as the foundation for excellence are empathy, self control, integrity, embracing diversity, and grit.  I couldn't agree more with the magnitude of these skills.  In ten years, I'm really not going to care how my sons performed in an algebra class, but I am going to be highly focused on their work ethic, understanding of others, openness to differences, and ability to push through challenging situations.

Image Credit: ascd.org
Our kids need us more than ever.  They need us to be in their corner while modeling what it means to see situations through the eyes of another.  They need us to exhibit self control, even when things don't go our way.  They need us to model what it means to do the right thing, even when that is not the most convenient thing.  They need us to celebrate differences while learning from everyone around us.  They need us to model what it is like to work hard for the things that fuel our passion.

Image Credit: autismafter16.com
I am concerned about what our kids are seeing from a national perspective when they turn on the TV each evening.  Our kids are in need of positive leadership and we owe it to them to model this on a daily basis.

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