As we start the big countdown to Holy Week I notice the many references to faith and cannot help thinking about STAR KIDS- Students At Risk.
They desperately want us to believe in them and to keep that faith- even through their dark walks in the educational wilderness!
Yesterday I worked with a very mixed group of Primary kids- 3 years ahead to three years behind and I was struck by the way that they all have challenges and gifts. 2 of the group of 12 were pretty close to being maths geniuses and 2 fairly close behind that! 4 were very gifted with creative writing and I child who is meant to have literacy problems could not get his nose out of our wonderful Easter books!
As we were playing a finishing learning game I commented to them about how high their SMART factor was- they looked very pleased and I told them we only take SMART kids. One child looked at me STUNNED-(very low self-esteem child) and I explained that ALL kids are smart but don’t always get to show it. I grabbed my new book ALL KIDS ARE SMART and did a flip through pointing out various contents and one of them asked if they could compose a song entitled ALL KIDS ARE SMART! Of course I grabbed the opportunity and now their holiday task is to write a song for our ALL KIDS ARE SMART song competition!
The thing is- they ARE all smart but we so often miss it and we need to keep the faith in our children and know the lights are on there somewhere and we have to be like patient cavers plumbing the depths of our kids’ brains. The lights are there- but we have to help flip the switch with creative, innovative teaching methods that do not discriminate against children. In other words- if they learn differently- teach differently!