Monday, 30 January 2012

How do your gifts manifest?

One of the most frustrating things as a high school teacher (especially as a high school math teacher) is when students accept defeat before they begin. When I walk into a class that has been allocated as remedial math (low level) and the first thing the students say is "this is the dumb class isn't it Miss?"

I am CONSTANTLY amazed, despite how educated or sophisticated we become as a global community, that the concept of intelligence is still measured by academic ability even by those who should know better!!!!! AAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!

The first step I take with students like this, is to make a blanket statement about intelligence NOT being based on academic success and encourage them to look from a different view point. We all have gifts and talents and they aren't all in an academic field. However, having said that, success in an academic field is actually based a great deal on confidence, trust (both the student trusting themselves and the students trusting the teacher) and most of all, keeping an open mind to learning.

Naturally, probably like quite a few people reading this post (I know you thought something along the lines of "I'm not good at Math either...what is this crazy woman talking about? *smile), the students don't believe me at first and it takes time to help them build confidence in their abilities as learners, to SHOW them, that they are capable and can be successful no matter what field they are choosing, providing that they don't admit defeat before they begin.

So what if "school was not/is not" your thing???? Does having a passing grade the be all and end all? Will the world stop spinning, you stop breathing, or the sun refuse to come up in the west if for whatever reason, you don't have the "piece of paper" that says you are qualified to be someone? That's not just a "No", it's an OMG "NO"!!!!!

Each of us/you has a gift, in fact many gifts...and, just like learning math in high school, if you admit defeat before you begin, then your success (as measured by you) will be minimal. However, just for a moment put aside any concept of "I'm not good at," "I have never been able to..." "I always fail at..." "I'm just not smart like that," and open your mind to the possibilities of being able to learn the skills you need, when you need them, easily and with joy!

Look to your gifts, the things you are passionate about, the activities that bring you the most joy and the things that make your soul sing and heart these things with your whole heart and mind, and accept that this is EXACTLY what you are meant to be doing and are called for and totally forget what makes a person "qualified" by some arbitrary standards.

Then watch magic happen!

With love and light

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