"Children truly have powerful voices. As adults, we need to take a step back, listen, and allow them to teach us."
As a School Teacher, each day when I walk into the classroom, I never know what the next adventure will be. Of course, I know the curriculum of the subject matter that I will teach. My lesson plans and materials are prepared; ready to guide and pace me through my daily activities prior to the arrival of the students. However, the real adventure begins once the students enter the classroom with their ideas and thoughts to enhance the lesson that is being taught.
Let’s fast forward to present day. It’s the last day before the Winter Break. The end of the semester is a time for parties, treats, and gift exchanges.
In my class, a simple lesson of gratitude was discussed with the students the day before the gift exchange. On the day of, treats were shared and everything was going well until a student shouted, “I don’t want this; I want my own gift back.” Once that student made that initial comment, a chain reaction occurred and, I heard the other students chiming in, “Yes I like my gift better” than the one they exchanged by way of the fair number system. Again, we discussed being grateful for whatever gift you may receive. I thought I would revisit the “being thankful” concept again. The discussion began in small groups; the students were given a writing assignment, and we concluded with a large group discussion. I don’t usually teach on the subject of Language Arts, but I found it pretty interesting that they were actually taking the time to really write. Their assignment was to answer the question “How can we find ways to give instead of just receiving during the Winter Break?” The adventure continued as the first student shared his writing with the class. He began with “there is really nothing I want for the holiday but to be with my family.” He expressed his joy in being with family and having plenty of food, but he only wished he could be with his father. He burst into tears in front of the rest of his peers. There was total silence in the classroom as I maneuvered myself to his desk. I gave him a very big hug and the children began to applaud.
"Children want their voices heard. Each child is in search of acceptance and a sense of value. Whoever gives it to them first will likely shape their future."
The adventure exceeded my expectations and the writing assignment allowed for there to be free-flowing learning. The students went to the depths of their little ten-year-old hearts to share their being thankful thoughts and we were all learning lessons about the importance of gratitude. The young writers continued to share. The next student stated that “Nothing can be received without giving something away. For example, when I give my knowledge to someone who struggles in that spot; they can share their knowledge in the spot that I struggle in. Plus we can be become friends.”
I stood in awe as they continued to read from their hearts with comments such as: “Things that I am thankful for are my family and belongings. My family works hard for my items and the least I can do is be thankful.”
It has been said...
“The soul is healed by being with children.” ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky
“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.” ~ Margaret Mead
“Children see magic because they look for it.” ~ Christopher Moore
“It’s the children the world almost breaks who grow up to save it.” ~ Frank Warren
“We may not be able to prepare the future for our children, but we can at least prepare our children for the future.” ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt
Action: Stop, listen, and value to the voices of our beautiful children.
Question: When was the last time you learned from a child? Are you giving back to the next generation? If so, how? (Please leave a comment below.)Jackie MTN Universal Be the wEiRd this world needs! Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Follow us on Pinterest