edu180atl: maryellen berry 8.23.12
In the midst of morning carpool duty, I saw Savannah’s backpack. The Olympic pins and the bright colored handles of this Fifth Grader’s bag drew my attention. As I stopped to admire it, I noticed that she had cleverly added multi-colored duct tape to give this ordinary black bag some pizzazz. I walked away and mused, “Isn’t it interesting how important it is to kids to make a bookbag their own.” Throughout the day, this thought kept resurfacing as I witnessed other ways that children and adults sought to personalize their world.
Each and every school day, learners enter classrooms, and, like snowflakes, no two are just alike. They come with strengths, talents, and passions, along with areas in which they need growth, stretching, and support. In all of their differences, the students share one similarity – they seek to be known and to be appreciated for who they are. For teachers, the process of planning lessons and activities can easily miss the most important component – the person in the classroom.
Imagine the difference for our students if we took a bit more time to personalize what we do best for the people in our care. In some cases it can be as trivial as asking about a cleverly decorated bookbag or as crucial as inquiring about a sick relative. I will keep looking for ways to personalize what I do for my faculty, the parents, and for the children in my care. After all, they want it and deserve it.
Maryellen Berry (@fastwalker10 ) has a passion for teaching, learning, and performing. As an elementary administrator, she can do all three.