It’s that time again for me to blog. If you have followed any previous blogs that I have submitted, you might see a pattern. This one is no different.
I have been enthralled with what my grandchildren have shown me as they develop. It is always a surprise to see the growth every time we get together.
Let me first forewarn you that what I am about share might sound scary and, frankly, a little unnerving unless you are somewhat of a risk-taker.
My youngest daughter and son-in-law have three children, two of which I featured in my last blog, Dean and Logan are seven and five respectfully. The youngest is Hazel, a fearless child, that has made every attempt to be as much like her older brothers as possible.
My wife and I were seated in our kitchen one afternoon. Her phone dinged indicating there was a message. She picked it up, looked and shouted, “Oh my gosh, what are they thinking?” She shook her head with her mouth open.
“Look at your granddaughter,” she said as she passed me the phone. What I saw was Hazel in their backyard tree some 15 feet off the ground and my grandsons some branches below.
An aside here, with all the technology available to kid these days, my daughter and son-in-law have encouraged their children to spend as much time outdoors getting physically active. Both parents were raised that way.
Back to Hazel however. We called my daughter at my wife’s encouragement to make sure someone was closely watching her. Hazel seemed to be having fun, and we were reassured that they were keeping a watchful eye on her.
So, what’s that got to do with the earlier warning and my wife’s concern? Hazel just turned two years old in September.
She had no problem climbing or getting down. It was a personal accomplishment, though a little frightening for us, but not for Hazel.
What I took away from this experience was that even though Hazel is two years old, she had the confidence to climb the tree because her brothers had shown her how. She had her parents’ reassurance that they were there if she needed help. She was offered praise and encouragement for her accomplishment. Hazel is determined to not let failure get in her way.
Among other things, building personal self-esteem in students is as important in the classroom as it is outside of the classroom. They need a chance to succeed by placing focus on their strengths and not so much on their weaknesses.
For some students, what they risk in the classroom is not the same risk that Hazel took, but it is just as powerful on another level. Student confidence is extremely important as it encourages them to move to the next goal. Maybe they are somewhat reluctant but knowing what they have accomplished before can carry them on.
Of course, there will be circumstances that will demand courage to meet the challenges with determination but with the proper support, encouragement and enthusiasm, anyone can reach for that higher branch.