What do my actions say about me?

Recently I wrote a post about how important it is for me to start with where the learner is at

This weekend, a colleague sent me the link to Shane Koyczan’s powerful work “To this day”. I have watched his TED talk a couple of times and the more I think about his powerful message, the more impact it has on me as a teacher, mother and member of the human race.

This TED talk clearly impacted on many people. Sam Sherratt’s latest post speaks about the world we live in and work in, and in particular the way we behave in schools and the kind of behaviour we condone and/or model through our actions or inaction.

I have been reflecting on my interactions with students and colleagues and wondering, “What do my words, actions and inaction say about me? What am I doing to create a safe, nurturing and supportive environment where every child that walks through my door can flourish? What am I doing to ensure every individual I interact with can flourish?”

Living in a world that isn’t always nurturing, I realise it’s easy to overlook the importance of emotional well being; it’s easy to label people; it’s easy to gossip; it’s easy to criticise; it’s easy to ignore, it’s easy to make your ideas more important than theirs.

Now, more than ever before, I have a responsibility to create a positive environment that is supportive of every learner. I need to continue on my journey to letting go of control. I need to persevere in my efforts to listen more and speak less, to reflect without judgement and to follow their lead. In doing so I will create an environment where each student can flourish.


3 thoughts on “What do my actions say about me?

  1. I am on a journey of Talk less in class and trying to release the control back to the students, so I understand where you are coming from. There is a fantastic resource that you should look into called ‘Choice Words: How Our Language Affects Children’s Learning’ by Peter H Johnstone. It is a very comprehensive, although I an not past the chapter on Noticing and Naming yet, but I believe that It may benefit you on your learning Journey .
    Thanks for the share.

  2. I wish there was a way to change how kids interact with each other. I listened to a podcast where they spoke to middle schoolers about their school lives and it sounded like a battlefield. It’s amazing some kids are willing to go to school at all. I know it was like that when I went to school… Do you think it will always be that way?
    I think you hit the nail on the head here: ” It’s easy to label people; it’s easy to gossip; it’s easy to criticise; it’s easy to ignore, it’s easy to make your ideas more important than theirs.” It takes more effort, more courage, more integrity, more willpower, more patience (and more time even) to stop and think, listen to others, consider where they are coming from, to nurture, to encourage, to support and not to judge. It’s hard enough for us as adults sometimes, how do we develop it in kids?

  3. I shared this video on Facebook and Twitter when it came out… being from Vancouver, I know the author from his work at the 2010 Winter Olympics, and find his speaking to be powerful. I think that we can all learn from this lesson… no matter our age.

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