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Monday, October 31, 2016

Top Down or Ground Up

The investment is rarely as good when it it's a top down directive, yet there are times when people desire being told what to do. Typically in those situations, the individuals have chosen the course, club, or event because they want direct and explicit instruction.

However, in most organizations, it's good to enlist the voices of many. In this regard, it's better to ask than project. This is true for the classroom community too.

Today a young child was off task. I pulled him aside and said, I really want to work with you to help you learn as much as you can. I know you have other interests and may want to learn in different ways. I'll work to figure that out with you; we can make this work. As soon as we spoke, his shoulders went down and he returned to his task much calmer. Later when I reviewed his efforts, I understood more about what was going on. It will be a step-by-step effort here as there's confidence building to do as well as the need to acknowledge the strengths this child has.

Like us, children want to be known. They want you to look them in the eye, hear their stories, and respond in kind. They, like most people, are yearning to be who they are, to bring their gifts forward into the world.

There are so many wonderful ways to teach and learn, and when we are teaching well we are helping students become the good people they want to be--good people who will serve our world well with their gifts and vision.