We all know the phrase “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover”, but we tend to forget about it when we walk into our classrooms. All too often we tend to label the kids sitting in front us while holding them up to our own ideas of what means to be successful.
Special education teacher, Meghan Kestner, shares her insights on getting rid of labels and changing what it means to be successful, in order to encourage children to flourish in the classroom and in their everyday lives.
Kestner gives us gentle reminders of the power of the words we use when dealing with students and the damaging effects it could have to hold a static image of whole beings that are constantly changing.
Find the best in our students
As educators we have to stop labeling kids. All kids have the potential to excel in the world, if we find their worth and show them the ways.
No child should ever be made to feel inferior due to things like socioeconomic conditions, family life or disability that are beyond his control. Each child has worth and potential.
Instead of labeling a child, we should be open to their experiences and appreciate that they are a unique member of the community. More importantly, they are an important member of the class. Remember once again not to judge a book by it’s cover.
Prepare students for the future
We have to find what our students are good at and help them develop their strengths. We don’t need to fix any child.
Instead of putting pressure on kids, we should be helping them celebrate themselves. No one knows what the future holds, let’s grow kids that can roll with the punches
“Everyone has a purpose in life… a unique gift or talent to give others.”
Show the possibilities
Break negative thought patterns. We should help our students interrupt thoughts like “What if I fail?” or “What if everyone laughs?”, and rather say “What if I succeed?” and “What if I change a life?”.
Read Kestner’s full story here.