Over the last few days I just keep thinking that every kid in school is a genius and how our school system just somehow tries to prevent so many of them from showing or developing their talents. “Academic” kids have an easy time at school, they know how to sit still, listen to teachers, do homework, study at home … I was one of them. I had no problems with sitting on an uncomfortable chair for two or three hours listening to a teacher telling me what I needed to learn and know. I didn’t mind losing lots of precious learning time either listening to the same teachers telling off some of my classmates who did have problems sitting on uncomfortable chairs for the same two or three hours hearing but not listening to the same teachers talking about what they needed to learn and know. I find it a lot more difficult now to sit and listen to someone talking to me if I feel they are wasting my time.
Teachers love talking in class but do kids love listening?
I no longer tell off whole classes for not listening to me. In every class there is always going to be someone who is just not ready to listen to me. What do I have to do in class to ensure that all my students listen to what is necessary? Why should those who are listening have to waste precious time that they could be spending doing something else? Do I speak too much in class? Do I repeat the same things over and over? Do I provide different channels of information?
Every kid is a genius – we have to listen to them, acknowledge them and keep in mind two magic words YOU MATTER.
I suppose I came to realise this after watching Angela Maiers fantastic TED Talk
We have to give all our kids at school the opportunity to be what they have the potential to be. Kids come to school because they have to, as teachers we have to ensure that they find a safe place in which to learn and to share their talents. They all have talents. We have to recognise and nurture them.
In our own way, at school we are developing learning spaces inside and outside the class that allow kids to develop their talents and to learn that you learn better together. We have our own type of genius hour project.