This is a simple but beautifully produced video, posted to YouTube and created for the Starkville (Mississippi) School District by Broadcast Media Group. It shows some ordinary people, teachers and students, at their best. The schools in the US are starting their educational year and what a powerful and inspirational resource this could be to encourage everyone involved with schools. It encourages everyone to set high standards and strive for their best.
The video participants aware asked to answer some big (but basic) questions:
- What do you want to be when you grow up?
- Why are you a teacher?
- Who is your favorite teacher? What is your favorite subject? Why?
- What do you want (from your teacher/school/education)?
When you ask “big” questions, and make sure the person answering the question understands that you are listening to their answer, you are often surprised to find that you get “big” answers. Young people are often very honest and the information can be so powerful. If you listen to the answers and then try to act upon them, the results are often very effective, personally and educationally. At the moment I am trying to encourage our students to write their goals for the second half of our school year. Many are not comfortable with reflecting on their journey so far and trot out fairly stock standard answers to get it over and done with. It is not until you sit down with them one-to-one that you can get them to take it on board and really tease out their thoughts.
I would love to see this concept of reflection applied to the general curriculum, in subjects/lessons, on a regular basis. Students and teachers should be encouraged to review what has gone on in their classes, if not daily , then on a weekly basis. We need to give ourselves some time to “catch our breath” and think about the important/good/challenging things, to celebrate the successes and consider how to work on the less successful. This will then help us to move forward in a positive way. As this video show us, the result of reflection can be inspiring.