Seashells and Starfish

starfish“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”Mother Teresa 

We just finished completed a four day course, Meeting the Diverse Needs of Students,  with Brenda Kaylor from Just Ask Publications as our facilitator.  During the first two days, she invited us to examine seashells and make connections to our students.  We noted the diversity, beauty, rough edges, imperfections, the uniqueness of our shells— and our students.   We proceeded to spend our time working to expand our instructional skills for working with students who either need scaffolding to meet learner outcomes and standards or to extend the learning for students who have already grasped key concepts and outcomes.

It does take planning, work and time to meet the multiple needs of our diverse learners.  Sometimes, in the midst of all the pressures, expectations, and challenges it may seem like a daunting task.  But Brenda’s facilitation of looking  at seashells as if they were  our students  reminded me  of a story regarding a starfish.   In this story adapted from Loren Eiseley, we are reminded that what we do matters.   The lesson is that what we do does make a difference and that as individuals we can and do impact others.

As we quickly move into the “testing season” let’s not lose sight of the importance and impact that our relationships and well-crafted instruction has for our students.  Continue to see each student for their uniqueness and beauty— and how our actions can and do make a difference for “that one.”

What keeps you grounded during the “testing season?”   How do you remind yourself of the bigger picture and purpose of what you do as an educator?  I would like to hear your thoughts!

Radicello_Lynn_WEBLynn Radicello
Director of Support and Technical Assistance
OCM BOCES

Lynn has been in education for 30 years.  She currently works with educators to support quality outcomes for all students

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