We began this VALUE series with validating our experiences as educators as well as our student’s experiences. Next up in the value mindset is A: Adjust your Perspective. What’s traditionally been successful needs to be re-imaged. It doesn’t stop there. Our perspective will continue to need to be re-imaged as we transform as people and educators, and as we get to know our students, their families and communities.
This idea of rethinking what we already know, and moving towards the unknown is scary, overwhelming, and can be freeing. We have the opportunity to create change while positively impacting ourselves and students.
In attempting to adjust your perspective, ask yourself the following questions:
Is what I am doing now working?
Is it working for me?
Is it working for my students?”
Coming back to in-person instruction, it's clear we need something different. Our typical teaching strategies and routines are leaving us feeling unsatisfied at the end of each day. Our kids are disengaged and their stamina is lacking. We don’t want that for ourselves or for our students.
So, how do we adjust our perspective? What do we do? Think about what skills you use today as a professional. What skills helped you get the job you applied for? We would bet you are using the same portable skills that we are using. CASEL’s 5 competencies: self-awareness, self-management, social-awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision making skills are the tools needed to be career and college ready as well as successful in everyday life. We are suggesting that you adjust your perspective of academic instruction. Consider teaching with a social emotional lens that integrates academics throughout. Your students will experience productive struggle, critical thinking, collaboration, conflict management and resolution and so much more.
Math, science, reading, social studies, physics, you name it…they all require our students to access their portable skills for success. As they learn about their strengths and areas of need, they will grow in self-management, self-discipline, and motivation and goal setting. These are the foundation for preparing our students for their next step beyond our PK-12 system.
Our students need our support in developing their lagging skills, not unraveling them. With confidence comes hope. Let’s lift ourselves and students up.