The Big and the Little
Romans 12:2 says, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.’
Recently I wrote about the importance of knowing our vision so that everything we do works toward achieving it; this is true for the little things as well as the big things we do.
Each week in assembly we hand out ‘You’ve Been Spotted’ certificates. Apart from being a feel good moment for the students, this is a way in which we can acknowledge and positively reinforce the development of the personal qualities and learning dispositions, including the habits of mind, that are key to our children being successful learners and achieving our vision for them.
Likewise our Student Led Conference is another building block in the greater plan for achieving our vision. It may be difficult for families to make it a priority to be here, especially since each child’s conference is only 10 minutes, but the preparation for that 10 minutes, the skills that are gained and the challenges that are overcome within that 10 minutes are important to developing students that own their learning; develop their communication and understand the value of their work.
For students to fully engage in learning, to positively own it and see the value of it for them, they need to understand how best they learn and develop the strategies that will maximize their learning. It appears with the changes in the sorts of things we are exposed to that there is a change in the way our brains process, decode and reinterpret information; leading us as educators to find new ways or different ways to teach. In order for all our students to move toward achieving our vision we explore new strategies and this sometimes involves working with students in focus groups either with their teacher or the school psychologist.
Another major component of achieving our vision, which underpins the success of everything else, is the mindset we develop. Therefore, a critical part of what we do here is to focus on learning to take control of our thinking; to be present in the here and now; to have a mindset that allows for growth and mindfully engage in learning skills. As adults we know how critical our mind set is; the way we think significantly impacts our health and interaction with others and our ability to learn new things. We also know how challenging it is to change a well-established mind set. Hence, the need to teach them, reinforce them and provide opportunities to exercise them while our children are still forming them.