Reminders, Reflections, Purpose

Several years ago, I was inspired by a talk by Jennifer James who implored each audience member to remind themselves of their purpose often (I wrote a reflection on Dr. James’ talk here).  Even the most goal-driven and passionate people need to do this because goal-driven and passionate people are usually busy and busyness can sometimes obscure purpose.

Over the years, I have been accumulating questions to ask myself (and other learners); questions that I think remind me of my purpose as an educator and learner.

  • What do you know now that you didn’t at the start of the day? Why does it matter?
  • What can you do better now than at the start of the day? How is this helpful?
  • What do you want to do with your learning?
  • (How) Did you connect with the natural world today?  How does this affect how you understand the world?

The questions go on, and after reading the results of the the Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI) from the Human Early Learning Partnership at UBC (the MDI being a survey of grade four students across BC that assesses “critical components to development”), I have come across another question that reminds me of purpose.

In a recent post on the MDI, I suggested there is as much to learn from the statements in the survey that students are to respond to as there is from the responses students give.  Below, I share some of the statements from the MDI that act as a reminder of the role of educators and community  members that promote well-being and set students up for success as adults and a question for which I will need to remind myself.

From the MDI:

• At my school there is an adult who really cares about me.
• At my school there is an adult who believes I will be a success.
• At my school there is an adult who listens to me when I have something to say.

So, a new question to ask at the end of the day:  What am I doing to be that adult?

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