Influence, students, & ambition
At the end of the day, teacher and students are on the same team. We work together to help students to grow.
But it doesn’t feel that way sometimes. Teachers will have one agenda while students have different priorities. Anyone in education already knows what I am talking about. No point in explaining the obvious.
How can someone come alongside a student and show them they are on the same team?
I read a book recently that explained how to ‘influence’ that has stuck with me. In short, to influence someone can mean to raise their ambition. I like this idea because every single student that I have had serious ambitions, especially in 5th grade. As things got difficult or challenging, a lot of those ambitions evaporated. It’s been right before my eyes every year since I started as an Innovative Arts teacher.
I don’t want to miss the opportunity to help students rediscover their ambition. I’m starting to see how to do this – I am busy developing more supports, scaffolds, and resources to help those first projects become successful (with just the right amount of failure mixed in). Projects that are highly customizable but not difficult to follow.
There is more to it – our mindset lessons, the creator cycle, and my “Investigate, imitate, and initiate” sequences are all going to be a big part of the program. But the most important part must be reconnecting ambition with imagination.