I stumbled across Simon Sinek on a Ted Talks .
His talks are aimed at business people and creating an awareness of others to generate great business practices. As always, I relate everything to my practice and learning in the classroom.
This Ted Talk (Why good leaders make you feel safe) made me think of school, the structures and leadership that define our school and classroom interactions in an analytical way.
Simon Sinek asks some deep, thought provoking questions.
1. “Do we help others enough to help us feel fulfilled?”
This links into the idea that our school’s head recently presented to the children in the form of a video.
Does it make us feel good when we do things for ourselves or for others?
Do we model this for children in meaningful contexts?
Do leaders and teachers ensure that they look out for their colleagues and learners. Do we try to set others up in a position that makes them feel valued and important?
2. “Who do we we trust?” – which leads me to thinking ,”Do we nurture trust in or classrooms and model behaviour that grows trust? ” and “Do children feel that they can trust the teachers and their peers?”
I love Sinek’s words, “Generosity is doing something for someone else and expecting nothing in return”.
My nine year old son happened to walk into the room while I was watching the Ted Talk.
“What’s it about? Why are you watching it?” he wanted to know. “Is this another ‘teacher moment’?”
So, I briefly explained the content of the talk and what I was thinking.
“You know,” he chooses his words thoughtfully,” teachers have the power in the classroom. They have much more power than the kids and we don’t have a choice – we have to do the right thing.”
This really stirred me. Who says it’s right? Whose behaviour are children expected to follow and what happens if this expectation is not the same at home as it is at school? Who says the teacher (or parents) model “appropriate” behaviour that fosters trust and care for one another?
3. “Can we be polite?”
Can we choose the option that makes others feel that they are valued?
Do we lose the desire to do things for others when they act in selfish ways?
Sinek relates the story of sitting on an aeroplane when a rather rude lady makes him feel that he doesn’t need to do anything to help her.
Do we create an environment where learners feel that they can look out for someone else, as someone else is looking out for them?
Is being polite one of the underlying concepts to be included in every Essential Agreement that classes create?
What would happen if we made this one of our foci…
“If we are willing to give to the person next to us, we will find it amazing what they are willing to give to us”. (Sinek) ?