As an educator, I want all of my students to feel special. I want them to recognize their potential as a student, and as a person. I want them to be confident and engaged. The video above–created by students at Magnolia High School, in Texas–is a fantastic illustration of how students should feel when they walk into the doors of our schools–welcomed, connected and free to take risks. However, most of all, I want my students to feel like they can make a difference in the world. Not only in their future, but now.
Technology is rapidly shrinking our world. World travel and rapidly improving communication methods make it increasingly important for our educational system to assist students in the development of an understanding of world cultures and the problems they face. Meeting this challenge can easily begin in our own communities. Students (as well as the adults they work with) frequently underestimate the impact they can have in the real-world problem solving process. Through their actions, students can positively influence their world through action, kindness, patience and empathy. Kids can make a difference.
At this morning’s church service, our pastor discussed the need for the Church to “get out of the huddle” and put words into action. The same could be said of our schools. Our emphasis has traditionally been to prepare students to be “difference makers” in the future…but why wait? Is there a better application of problem based learning than asking our students to apply their learning to issues in our community, country and world? Maybe it is time for our students to “break the huddle” and put their learning into action. I can’t think of a better way to make them feel special.