“When you step into who you uniquely are, you create a lane of your own… It’s in the best interest of your business to work with people you do your best work with instead of trying to be everything to everyone.” – Ashley Bradley
The above quote represents the model that I live by.
As an educator, I do my best to be of assistance to every student I encounter. But, I also recognize that I have an approach that either resonates with people or it doesn’t.
I tend to integrate the subjects I teach as opposed to looking at them as separate. Therefore, if a student comes to me for reading lessons, I’m also going to look at their writing, their spelling, and how they present information because it all connects. That’s my style.
I have experienced situations that try to impose another way of being; but I’ve had to learn that it is not my job to try to be everything to everyone. In fact, that’s not even possible.
This view seems to contrast with the belief that traditional schools promote when they fail to recognize that one size does not fit all. Throughout my master’s program I’ve seen how teachers are being fed ideas that they must appeal to everyone, or else they are discriminatory or non-inclusive.
There is nothing wrong with differentiating content and making accommodations. But that is not all that is being taught. Underneath that, there are subtle layers that seek to erase individuality, common sense, and choice.
I think there needs to be a little nuance here because there’s a difference between being discriminatory and seeking resonant circumstances.
Furthermore, teachers are human beings with time and energy constraints – they are not always going to be a “fit” for every child. It would be beneficial to evolve to where parents and students are given more choices to find the right alignment; as opposed to engaging in circular debates and trying to make square pegs fit into round holes.
This ties into deeper issues of personal responsibility and self-empowerment. We live in a society that doesn’t always recognize the importance of children building strength, resilience, and self-esteem. Instead, children are given a sense of self-esteem in the context of how well they gain acceptance from others. Without having the foundation of a strong sense of self combined with the knowledge that there is no value difference between people – these good intentions go to waste.
If students aren’t told early on that everyone is inherently valuable; then they might lack a sense of self-worth and self-respect. If that is the case, it will be difficult for them to respect others. Thus, any discussions about diversity and acceptance will only superficially scratch the surface.
In my opinion, teachers should have loving and welcoming classrooms no matter what. Yet labeling something as “accepting” or “not accepting” is not as black and white as we are sometimes led to believe.
There is a place for classrooms that are focused on a certain situation or learning preference, and there is a place for classrooms that merge all situations together.
We have to be mature enough to look at what is before us without being offended or automatically looking for some politically correct jargon. For example, if a child has persistent emotional or behavioral disorders, then perhaps they would be better served being in an environment that is focused on them as a whole being, as opposed to an environment that is focused on compliance. That is not being discriminatory or non-inclusive. It is moving towards finding solutions that lead to the most harmonious outcomes.
This concept applies to all types of situations that students can find themselves in. Parents need choices, not prepackaged solutions designed bureaucrats. Therefore, I believe the solution is not going to be found within the confines of tradition.
The intent of this newsletter is to increase awareness of available educational options in order to encourage environments where students can align to their true gifts and talents.
When people are aligned to their true nature and in touch with their loving hearts, they are able to co-create a harmonious world.
Remember to love yourself and to always follow your inner guidance. Therefore, take what resonates and discard the rest.
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