Selfhood – Being Yourself with Confidence
As an Instructional Coach I have the pleasure of visiting each classroom in our school and I love it!! I am so honoured to see a window into the magic that is happening in each classroom. Watching my dedicated and talented colleagues at work constantly humbles and inspires me to keep growing and learning. Each teacher, in their own unique way, is such a gift to our learning community. The creativity, proficiency and love that is poured into each lesson and to each child makes it very clear that they have embraced this sacred work.
One of the favourite parts of my job is working with children who see the joy in the simple things of life and are able to make learning an adventure. I love that we can turn any day – evening a Monday – into a marvelous creation just by naming it “Marvelous Monday”. By framing our day in a positive way, even when we are tired from the weekend or finding work challenging, suddenly the activities that we tackle seem easier. Together, we focus on our bigger goal of making our time together marvelous. Young children still believe in wishes, they have faith in bigger things, they use their imaginations to dream and in a safe place they willingly take risks.
The Kindergarten classroom is always a special visit because these little ones see the world through eyes of wonder and still get excited about…well, everything! It is a delight to watch their enthusiasm for learning.
I will never forget how I felt as I watched my first-born walking into school for his first day of Kindergarten. Most of my heart was so excited for him and this new learning adventure, knowing that it would open up a whole new world. However, there was a corner of my heart that worried – would his heart be kept safe? Would he be comfortable enough to be himself? Would he have the confidence to show the world who he truly is? And in the midst of this, would he make friends? Fortunately, there was a master teacher in his world that knew exactly how to model thriving, encourage imagination and nurture him on his journey of selfhood.
“Selfhood is developed when we all pursue thriving; when we model it. Dreams are at the centre of selfhood, with personal responsibility around the edges, and secure relationships forming the bedrock. Then, children can ‘be themselves’ with confidence.”
-Karine Veldhoen, Learn Forward
Our Kindergarteners are every bit as fortunate to be led into selfhood by Ms. James. With her boundless energy she models how to thrive in this new environment, showing excitement of learning and encouraging imaginations to flourish. By allowing students to make choices in their learning they develop their interests and abilities while strengthening their independence.
In the midst of this wonder Ms. James also beautifully models what it is like to be in community. She demonstrates how to take personal responsibility for actions and words, encourages students to confidently take risks, make mistakes and ask questions, and reinforces that they are in a safe and inclusive environment by lovingly referring to the group as “friends”.
In these secure relationships, students are comfortable to be themselves while learning how to thrive in community. It is such a joy to watch these precious children “Learn Forward”.
With Love in Learning,
Mrs. Draper, WA Educator + Instructional Coach