Yesterday I had a wonderful conversation with a young child. When I asked the child about interests, the response was "Dance!"
Now I'm thinking about how I might make that happen. I've enlisted the thoughts of a few others in this regard too.
To reach out to our students, the first job is to talk with them asking, "What do you want? What do you need? Where are your interests? How can I help?" These vital conversations can take place during small group or one-to-one teaching, a lunch meeting, on the playground, and even on a field trip. The key is to make time for these conversations which isn't always easy in a school with lots of children and a busy schedule.
Once you make time for those conversations and you identify the needs and interests, the next step is to work towards meeting those needs and interests in your classroom set-up, curriculum program, extracurricular activities, and your daily patterns and routines.
As I had the chance to explore a museum with many young children yesterday, I had the chance for many good moments of conversation and share. I recognized once again how much I enjoy the bright energy, warmth, and curiosity that children bring to my life and the lives of others. I want to continue to nurture their gifts in the year ahead, and I'll begin that by reaching out more to find out what it is that they need to continue their journey which includes following their interests and meeting their needs. Onward.