Wednesday, July 3, 2013

"Lean In, Back Off, But Don't Do Nothing"

Does our educational system allow us to push our students in a way that allows them to discover the power of their individual skills and abilities? Watch this short inspirational video and think about whether our outdated traditional classroom fosters an environment where students can soar.

This would be very encouraging if schools could simply operate as the “pusher” out of love, allowing students to discover the power and ability of their God given gifts. Unfortunately our industrial framed school system has a preconceived agenda with a narrowed definition of achievement and success.

I think one concept shared by Seth Godin in his book Tribes:We Need You to Lead Us, can really be applied to teaching in an alternative manner and also applicable to a journey of living by faith. Godin suggests that great modern leaders “Lean in, back off, but don’t do nothing.”
As for teachers:
·      To “lean in” means to care deeply for each individual student. Create an
atmosphere where each child is personally heard, encouraged and supported according to their specific needs. Simply take interest in every pupil.
·      To “back off” is a lot like what the parent eagle in the video does after the push. Continue to challenge while letting them explore. This allows the student to make their decisions and maintain authority of their learning development and growth. Let go of your own agenda. Get out of the way!
·      I interpret the “But don’t do nothing” as the teacher is constantly opening avenues for student learning and exploration. Also the educator is constantly offering guidance and encouragement throughout the process.
I think this approach can have application in living by faith and parenting as well. Actually there are probably numerous areas of application for this, but in my experience of teaching, trying to live according to God’s will for my life, and definitely parenting, the “back off” step is BY FAR the most difficult!
Too often I want to do it for my students or especially my 3 year old son, which would ultimately inhibit their ability to soar.