Friday, March 23, 2012

Love the kids! #edtech #edchat

At the closing keynote for TCEA2012 Stacy Bess told an emotional story about loss, and love.  It pulled on our heart strings, yet at the same time it was inspiring.  I saw more than one person fighting back tears and for me this capped off an amazing and inspiring convention.
My favorite quote from Stacy Bess was: "Don't hide behind your credentials. Get down on the floor and be a human being."  I thought that was a great quote, and it really inspired me.  I think some times we do get caught up in what our title is.  Or maybe we just get caught up in all of the little things that we have to get done each and every day.  Either way I think we sometimes forget what our job really is.  Our job is to love children.  To care about them, motivate them, inspire them, and teach them.  In this day and age, there are so many things that can distract us from that job.  I wish we could get rid of some of our labels: GT, LEP, SpEd, ELL, etc.  Because I believe that some times those labels can also serve to prevent us from seeing the kids.  We must focus on the kids, and remember that they are kids, not labels.  The kids needs us.  They need us to see them, to know them.  They need us to understand them, and to motivate them.  They need us to inspire them.  And above all else, they need us to love them.  It might be the only love they get that day.

I had the pleasure of subbing in a 4th grade classroom a few weeks ago.  My goal was to live that quote from Stacy Bess.  I didn't want to hide behind my title.  I didn't want to just get through the day, and worry about all of my tech director duties.  I wanted to get down on the floor and connect with those kids.  One of the first things we did that day was a timed math quiz on multiplication tables.  One little girl told me "I don't want to take this test because I'm not good at math."  Before I started the timer I got down on my knees in front of her desk.  I told her she was amazing at math.  I told her she could do it.  I told her "I can't believe you don't know was 6 x 0 is!  Or what 6 x 1 is."  She said, "Well, of course I know those ones."  I quickly showed her how many times those appeared on the test and then urged her to do her best.  I started the timer and she got right to work.  When I collected her test, I gave her a high five.  I told her she did an amazing job!  The smile on her face told me that maybe, just maybe, she didn't think she was as bad at math as she did before the quiz.  For the rest of that day, I tried my best to inspire her and her classmates.  We ended up having a lot of fun learning together!  And I can't wait to go back!

Don't forget to the love the kids!