Perception and Reality

It’s true; I’m known for saying:  “Your perception is your reality.”  Think about it; as adults we know this to be true!  It was true today when I said it too!  🙂

So…the question was asked by a classroom leader this morning:  “Who do you serve?”  You can imagine the answers shared:  “you, me, each other, our parents, the office ladies (they wish!)”…and the list grew.question-mark2

As these learners pondered the possibilities for who they serve, you could visibly see the connections being made between how they view their role as a learner AND as a classroom leader or teacher.  They realized they truly serve multiple roles in their classroom, thus serving in many capacities (depending on the situation) changes who they serve when.  The real heart and soul of this reality today though was each child’s eagerness and willingness to SERVE!  🙂

In his powerful book, One Word, Jon Gordon writes about finding that one word each year to live by fully each day.  As back in August, my word this year is SERVE.  I do my personal best to SERVE.  Some days I’m highly successful; some days I need to do better.  The word came to me in a whisper last summer…one of those moments where chills and a calling literally walk along the path with you unexpectedly.

It’s truly remarkable to listen to learner perspective on any given topic because you never know the angle each child brings to the processing table.  Learners engage in the experience based on multiple factors, the least of which is their own understanding or unique perception of a given situation.  It is their personal experience helping to create their own personal reality, thus, their perception is their reality.

This particular class has chosen the word SERVE this spring as a special focus for the next few weeks.  I’m excited to see and hear about their progress…their perception and their reality!  🙂

Rate vs. Reality

It’s no surprise we all learn at different rates, and, according to some published research, only when we are ready.  The reality is rate shouldn’t matter as long as we’re all learning!

Such was a conversation today among myself, and older learner, two teachers, and concerned parents.  It’s also true some of us just do not do well in school on a particular subject.  In the “good ‘ol days,” many students led productive lives working at occupational tasks not requiring extensive academic skills in four core subject areas.  With today’s educational emphasis more on academic preparation in our global society, these same learners find themselves in need of remediation.  This particular student presented the need for extra time to complete a task, a need for an incentive for success, the need for proper nutrition, and the need for the teacher to seek lesson ideas and resources to make the learning more relevant and meaningful.  Sounds reasonable, for everyone, right?!

So we proposed the following plan to help with daily learning tasks:

  • Reducing distractions, changing seating, and allowing frequent breaks as needed;
  • Keeping homework sessions short; provide activities/breaks before, during, and after homework sessions;
  • Working for a special reward (lunch time with me, conversation with a friend, etc.);
  • Grouping with a patient study buddy on certain assignments, shortening the assignment if warranted, and redoing work if necessary (an incentive to doing it well the first time!); and
  • Eating a proper breakfast, a snack, and lunch everyday at school; nutritional fuel is critical for academic success!

This simple plan is something the learner, the parents, and the teachers can all work on together as a learning team.  Everyone has ownership because everyone contributed to the plan.  Is there a learning disability here?  No!  These learning interventions are simple ways to assist this student who wants to learn but is struggling with the process.  We always encourage you to reach out to us when you have concerns or issues.  We cannot help if we do not know.  Always start with your child’s teacher first as the classroom teacher is the sole judge of academic success for your learner this year.  We are here to serve our learning community; thanks for sharing your learners with us!