Imagine how different the world would be if all children learned that they were brilliant beyond belief and they were encouraged to discover how their mind worked the best.
We are all aware that school districts have faced repeated budget cuts. We are also aware that our teachers are required to teach more academic content, meet higher standards and at the same time have more students in their classrooms. I think we are also aware this situation creates more stress and that stress has an adverse effect on the learning environment, the student and the teacher.
Stress interferes with students’ attention, memory, and their ability to organize and integrate information. This is not new information. Educators have known for a long time that the optimal mind/body state of a student is one of relaxed alertness, but unfortunately how to generate a state of relaxed alertness, especially in stressful situations, is rarely taught in the classroom.
How did we get on this treadmill? Isn’t it time to get off? Children still focus a high percentage of their attention in school on tasks bearing little relationship to real-life activities. Have we forgotten that our focus should be on preparing our students for life––the new ever-changing global life? Have we forgotten the importance of developing the conscious creative and problem-solving mind in this new and changing world? And have we forgotten that to develop this part of the mind, individuals need to understand how the mind works and be encouraged to step out of reaction and discover new answers––not just repeat the answer someone else discovered?
Almost everyday I hear the stories of individuals whose faith in themselves and potential was crushed by this stress-filled treadmill we call education. What many people don’t realize is those scars don’t disappear miraculously. They can last a lifetime––or until the individual learns how to turn on his or her conscious mind at will and transform stifling inaccurate beliefs.
What if, when a student didn’t understand something, the focus was on figuring out how to get better performance from his mind, not on his feeling he was inadequate or stupid? Linear thinkers have an advantage in the traditional classroom, but now there is a greater need in the global market place for the “out of the box” thinkers. Can we rise to the occasion and find more effective ways to help our youth understand how to activate their conscious mind, maximize its performance and become “out of the box” thinkers? If we can, we can activate a wave of brilliant minds that are desperately needed to solve the world’s current problems.
Thoughts from a pilot teacher:
“…One of the best things about the I Create What I Believe! Program is what it does for the teacher. When I began using the activities in my classroom I started to see my students differently–– a less adversarial relationship. The classroom climate changed as well when my students saw me doing the art too, because they knew this wasn’t something I was just telling them to do, it was something I used in my own life.
With all of the stress, demands and pressure teachers are under these days it is really easy to see only the defiance in a student. However, when students are given these opportunities to express themselves you get to see that under that defiance they are vulnerable and very unsure of themselves. Being able to suggest an alternative to disrupting the whole classroom leaves me feeling less like a tyrant, leaves them feeling less attacked, and ultimately is helping me become more a compassionate and effective teacher…”
For more information about the I Create What I believe! Program and Pilot Study http://icreatewhatibelieve.com