Many years ago, early in my teaching career, I was teaching a grade 5 class in what was called a core area compensatory school. Twenty-three beautiful kids. I loved it. I loved my kids, I loved the grade level…everything. I had learned early on as a supply teacher that the best tool in my toolkit was creating connection.
From day one, this sense of connection was at the forefront of our room and we practised belongingness like an artform in my class. We nurtured togetherness, tolerance and kindness. My kids were thriving, and I was joyful.
A few weeks ago, on vacation in a sunny clime, I witnessed something so extraordinary. There was a gathering place in a theatre at our resort where, after dinner and before the nightly show, little children could burn the final energy of the day dancing. The kids ranged from infants just beginning to toddle, to about 6 or 7. It was a beautiful thing to watch, all these little ones just coming together, dancing and enjoying the light display. One evening, there was a lovely little girl, a real cutie, maybe 12 or 13 months old. She was sliding off her Mum’s lap to stand and contemplate the lights and her big brother who was enjoying the catchy dance beat.
My experience for the last 24 plus years with children has taught me that each child is hardwired for greatness. Children come on to the planet with everything they need to blossom forth into the greatness that they are. They are provided with gifts, traits and passions that will allow their purpose to shine through. On the flip side, they also may have some challenges, some struggles that can provide the arid ground and opportunity for growth. Very often, the natural gifts and abilities of the child become obscured by the challenges they are experiencing.
Julie Fader is the owner/ director of Head of the Class. Julie Fader has been a certified teacher for over 23 years. Passionate about the needs of people as learners, Julie has pursued many avenues towards information and training regarding how students learn and supportive practices for assisting kids and adults alike to reach their full potential.