Posts Tagged ‘child leadership’

“If nothing changes, nothing changes.” – Lother Hinense?

We as teachers and parents can often be found exhorting or commanding our students and children to do better in school. We may say such things as:

“Study harder!”

“Work harder!”

“Remember to do your homework every night!”

“Remember to pay attention to the teacher when you are in class!”

We know that these skills and practices  are important for their success in school now, and their subsequent success in life. This is only common sense and besides, we may feel it is our duty as teachers and parents to exhort, command or scold our students and children so that they become better people in school and at home and elsewhere in their daily life. We may fear we are failing in our proper responsibility as teachers and parents if we do not push our students constantly.

We may feel that we need to show proper leadership to our students and children.

Leadership is a skill that not many have mastered well. It is not as easy as we may think. It is more than words I think.

“We must be the change we wish to see . . . ”   – Mahatma Gandhi

Would it come softly to our minds to gently say to our students and children the following kinds of things?

“Let’s find a way together to help you enjoy your studies more.”

“Is there something I can do that will help to make your schooling more meaningful to you?”

“Let’s find a way together to help you find homework more attractive, more desirable.”

“I wonder what I can do to help you want to engage more actively in classes at school?”

Or perhaps even better:

“What can I change that will help you change?”

Because all learning involves change of some kind.

And if we are not willing to change, we are not setting an example our students and children can follow. We are simply saying, “Do as I say, ” not “Do as I do.”

“Do as I say,” works for the moment.

“Do as I do,” works for a lifetime.

A lifetime love of learning.

When you lead, or are led yourself, by doing, by example, by actual behavior, not just words, you develop intrinsic or internal change. Even students and children themselves can learn to lead, if encouraged to become involved with you in active learning, in interactive learning behaviors.

Leading by Example

Picture from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Engineering. If you wish to read the whole story, copy and paste the following URL into your computer’s browser line (where you usually place website addresses for websites you are seeking):

<http://www.engineering.unl.edu/publications/ENonline/Fall06/20.shtml> …………………………………………………………………………………………..

Even very young students and children can learn to lead by example, in the classroom and at home. Motivated from within. That’s the goal.

“Do as I say” creates change from the outside in, often based on fear.
“Do as I do” creates change from the inside out, often based on love, honor and respect.

Words can be good, and inspiring even. Examples are even better.

The best? Encouraging words and encouraging examples, together, are the very best you can offer any human being.

Particularly for our students and children who rely on us for leadership.

If we don’t change, our students and children won’t find it easy to change.

If we are not willing to change, our students and children may not be able to find the way to change.

Pushing students and children to change “punches” them to act.

Pulling students and children along with our own enjoyment, laughter, humor and joy even, inspires them mightily.

It is so much easier for us as teachers and parents to just tell our students and children what they should be doing, rather than showing them what to do by having them follow our leadership, our example, our own love of learning, our own love of change (in ourselves, not just them).

It is not just our duty to exhort, command or scold. It is our sacred duty to lead by joyful example, each new day, in every way that we can do.

In every way that we can be, or be in the process of becoming.

Will we be able to do this every day, all the time, consistently, without fail?

Not at first.

Neither will our students and children.

Developing our example behavior, making our own changes, in ourselves, takes time.

Just so with our students and children as well.

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu

Doc Meek, May 20, 2010, at Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA, right now, visiting with my 91-year-old Mom, teaching school children how to learn more easily now, and looking after other things as well; not with my beloved wife Jeannette in South Jordan, Utah, USA, right now. Hopefully soon. 😮

P.S. “What is my example showing today?” I ask myself. “What is my behavior showing right now?” Oh . . . oh . . . hmmm . . .  😮

“How can I change?” I ask myself.

“How can I make a simple start?”

Today. Right now.

Just one simple step. 😮

Contact Doc Meek

September 2020
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