I recently had the privilege of hanging with my boys and watching a movie. It was one of those magical movies set in a remote area in USA. The school is small. The students are disengaged. They lack motivation. No one appears to have their backs.
ENTER….. young, smartly dressed, pretty faced young lady who just happens to be the exchange teacher for the year. Fresh faced and full of enthusiasm her desire to turn these students around is relentless.
Where am I going with this you may ask? What is it that truly makes the difference for our children? Is it the fact she is pretty, or he is handsome? No. Is it the fact she / he speaks with an accent? No. Is it the fact he/she is good at sport? No.
What makes a difference in all cases for our children who are disengaged, or, who have specific learning differences such as Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia, ASD, are the following;
- Having a teacher who BELIEVES I can
- Having a teacher who DEMONSTRATES the learning to me
- Having a teacher who makes things FUN
- Having a teacher who goes above and beyond to ‘make shit happen’
- Having a teacher who values the role of my FAMILY and appreciates their perspective of me
- Having a teacher who ADVOCATES for me
- Having a teacher who is committed to EVIDENCE-BASED practice because they know this will make the biggest difference for me
- Having a teacher who is prepared to bend the RULES when they don’t apply to, nor serve me
- Having a teacher who willingly COLLABORATES with other colleagues and support organisations
- Most importantly Having a teacher who LISTENS with the intent to understand
At Learning Matters Ltd we work with so many teachers who fit this bill, and some who require support with this. As you go into this new year I encourage you as teachers to take stock of your interactions with your families and students. To consider how your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words…….. Think positive thoughts, BELIEVE they can and they WILL with your and others support.
You are not alone in this. Are you a teacher of students who are disengaged or who present with Specific Learning Differences and believe they can? Click here to learn more about professional learning opportunities that will support you to support them on their journey.
Oh and the biggest takeaway from the movie — when we BELIEVE they can and we BEHAVE and ACT in a way that serves both us and them, this strengthens our entire learning community.
Believe they CAN and they WILL