At Church today the Pastor talked to us about how God’s love provides a safety net for us and enables us to move forward with confidence knowing we are loved and cared for so fully.
Alison told us that when the Golden Gate Bridge was built, a safety net was put in place, allowing the workers to move about more confidently and safely while incidentally increasing productivity.
This made me think about children in our classes. When children know they are loved and safe to take risks, try new learning techniques and learn from mistakes, test scores and academic performances improve. To put it simply: Happy, supported children learn more.
The safety net that can be built in all educational environments needs to emulate a healthy home environment. Children must know they are loved and safe and not all expected to achieve at the same rates. Without this safety net children will just take the safe path and not take any risks with learning and this means they will not be giving of their best.
A truly high quality system will always encourage students to “stretch” their intellects and go for gold- even if they fall down sometimes. The safety net of love and encouragement will help students stand up quickly, improve their “bounce factor” and learn from their mistakes.
So how do we weave such a safety net? To my mind these factors are crucial:
- Teachers need to LOVE their students- not in a soppy meaningless way but in a way that respects children and understands that kids make mistakes- they are after all LEARNERS!
- Teachers with challenging students need real assistance to be able to provide that loving safety net as there are always kids who try the patience of even the most loving and understanding educator.
- Teachers themselves need a loving safety net of respect and understanding from their admin teams who in turn need it from their departments. Teachers who are not free to try our new techniques and whose only concern is to get kids to pass tests will NEVER get the best academic results from their students. Fear is a very poor teacher.
A loving safety net to help all students feel cared for, respected and affirmed could absolutely transform all education environments- and lift education standards without the pressure and cajoling that occurs so often.
We notice how often children who do our EQ4KIDZ course surprisingly get higher academic results. We really should not have been surprised, given the strong correlation between self esteem and successful learning.
Thanks Alison Gilchrist for your sermon today! I’m going to check our safety net for International Centre for Excellence and make sure there are no weak spots!