Week 2 of Share #YourEdustory. How will you make the world a better place?
My classroom sometimes feels like my world. Once my feet hit the pavement in the parking lot all focus shifts to my mental to do list before the morning bell rings. Everything else slides away as I begin my morning routines and checking off my lists. So when someone says… how will you change the world? I get a little nervous. The world is so big! It seems such a lofty goal to change the world!
But here is to starting small. Starting with me. Starting with me in my classroom. Because if I begin to focus on making a difference in the lives of those in my room, in small little ways, I believe there may be some ripple effect.
Starting small by slowing down just a little bit. Taking time to savor the small moments in my classroom to have meaningful conversations with students. Taking small moments to talk with my students about how their words and actions are meaningful. By taking time to be silly with my students and smile more. By taking the time to break away from “getting all the things done on my list” to helping my students believe in the power of their own voice.
Recently, my daughter started her own blog. She is eight. She is eight and on a mission to help dogs in our local Humane Society find a forever home. Such a lofty and inspiring goal!
It all began because both of my daughters love animals but due to allergies we don’t have a pet. So they often ask to visit the Humane Society. My youngest daughter brings her camera with her and snaps photos of the dogs she falls in love with or the dogs she feels the most sorry for. When I asked her what she plans on doing with all of these photos she wasn’t sure. Then I shared with her that she could start a blog. I helped her set up her blog using Wix (a free blogging platform) and showed her how to post. From there the power of her voice was in her own hands.
For her first blog post she chose to write about this pitbull dog, named Osito, who had been in the Humane Society for months. She could tell he was sweet. But months and months of living in the Humane Society with only about an hour of going outside each day had broken the spirit of this dog. You could see it in his eyes. My daughter could see it. She had snapped a photo of this dog and decided Osito would be featured in her very first post. I told her I would share a link to her blog post on my Facebook page so maybe someone would read about Osito.
Three days later, she went to the Humane Society and witnessed Osito being lead away from the building on a leash. Upon inquiring, she learned Osito had been adopted! We aren’t sure this was a result of her little blog post, but my daughter thinks it may have been the reason. And that is what matters.
If we are truly to inspire change in the world we need to help children, even very young ones, realize they can make a difference. That their voice matters.
We focus so much on the 4 Cs (create, collaborate, communicate, critical thinking), which I think are fantastic life-long skills our students need to master. But I believe the power comes with using the 4 Cs to make a difference in the 5th C… the community. Our goal as educators is to begin to show our students how dropping a stone into the pond begins a ripple. That they can make a positive difference in the community and that the very point of learning is not just to improve one’s self, but to improve the world around you.
So here is to dropping that pebble into the pond and to inspiring our youth to share their voice.
To learn more about the Share #YourEdustory movement follow this link.