“Only the truth of who you are, if realized, will set you free.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
ROCKWALL,TX. (August 13, 2014) It is getting to be that time of year again- a brand new school year for students and teachers alike. After thirty-one-years of being an educator I still feel nervous, excited and anticipate another school year where I can begin again and try to be the best educator I can be.
Every year I make a list of the mistakes and successes from the past year and vow to do things better. I try to learn my lessons from the students- I watch their faces and observe if they truly understand the skill and if they are enjoying the way I am teaching the skill. If not, I go back to the drawing board and reassess myself. You see, at this stage of the game, I am finally realizing that I must go to the students and meet their needs and not the other way around.
Dr. Pam Schiller, an early childhood specialist and author of many wonderful books, DVD’s, articles and other fantastic educational materials for younger students recently wrote a book about multiple intelligence. Hmmm, this wise talented woman was about to teach me another lesson- teaching to the students’ way of learning. For example, there are eight multiple intelligences: the linguist like Dr. Martin Luther King or Abraham Lincoln, the logical thinker, Einstein, the bodily- kinesthetic- dancers on Dancing with the Stars, musicians, Katy Perry, Interpersonal, Oprah Winfrey, Intrapersonal, Emerson or a Naturalist like Jane Goodall.
Dr. Schiller explains that teachers should include every type of learning style throughout a school day, so that every child may be successful. For instance, if a student needs movement to learn, the wise teacher will incorporate movement into at least one lesson during the day. This ensures that every student will excel in at least one area. Pam’s theory is right on as I have tried to teach through my students’ favorite activities, items and time of the day. So often educators want to be tough to make the children test-ready and ready for life, however, this can backfire if we are not setting the students up for success.
It is another new school year- my thirty second one and I just now truly understand the value of the teacher allowing children to shine with the strengths every day. It does not make the students weaker; it makes them stronger and able to master any test while feeling good about themselves at the end of the school day. And when they find out the truth about themselves, only then will they be set free.
By Blue Ribbon News special contributor Kristie Smith, a teacher for the blind, who writes about parenting and child development. She authored a series of novels about a blind girl detective, and has written more than 15 activity books for children with special needs.
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