Do We Really Work Together?
There are many things to either love or hate about the internet, but one of my favorite things is the sharing of web pages with friends. Sharon Dougherty shared a post from Heart Centered Rebalancing. Since it is children who do the teaching in this small exercise and we all have experienced the power of teamwork or community in some way, I include it here.
An anthropologist proposed a game to the kids in an African tribe. He put a basket full of fruit near a tree and told the kids that whoever got there first won the sweet fruits. When he told them to run they all took each other’s hands and ran together, then sat together enjoying their treats. When he asked them why they had run like that as one could have had all the fruits for himself they said: ''UBUNTU, how can one of us be happy if all the other ones are sad?'' 'UBUNTU' in the Xhosa culture means: "I am because we are"
Just imagine how our classrooms could change if we all worked together to create a culture where everyone was important, loved, and given opportunities to demonstrate growth to others, not as a way to make oneself better than others, but to enrich us all. Does competition help or hinder children in the classroom? In the climate now when child development seems to be brushed aside by many districts, the pressure is on for children to reach a certain level whether they are ready or not. With so much emphasis on the academics have we forgotten that making mistakes is a part of life and only a problem if we don’t learn from them? We all need to be reminded that we are valuable for who we are now, whether we are an academic star, a peacemaker, a compassionate child, a talented singer, artist, leader, etc. Diversity in the class is a treasure, not a curse, even though it requires us to reach each child where she/he is. This is hard work, especially in a world that thinks it is easy to measure results only by tests. On this Valentine’s Day, know that we applaud you for daring to do what is right for the children in your care. You are not alone.
UPCOMING EVENTS AT NJAKE
Steam for young learners, Union County March 3, deadline February 19. The deadline for this workshop is Friday, so sign up now for an exciting presentation.
Bluebirds in the Schoolyard, Somerset County March 5, no deadline, but spots are filling fast. Don’t miss out on 6 pd hours in a spectacular facility
Mary Amoson, NJAKE Spring Conference April 9, deadline March 19
Go to our website at www.njake.net and hit workshops on the bar at the top to find the registration forms and information.