The Power of Like!

November 23, 2015 at 7:08 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be ignited.” – Plutarch

It’s early last week. I’m lucky to have another great Year 5 cohort to facilitate our L.E.A.D. with Courage™: Stage 3 Leaders Program for. Such an interesting and diverse mix of learners sitting in front of me again. Throughout the day we experienced so much fun. We also experienced and navigated moments of conflict between learners. We experienced plenty of excitement. We also experienced and navigated individual and shared frustration. We experienced lots of successes. We also experienced and navigated numerous near misses. We experienced a real deepening of connection. We also experienced and navigated many challenges to connection. It was one learners comment at the end of the day though that has had me thinking about the power of like!

“Learning is not a spectator sport.” – D. Blocher

His hand shot up as soon as I asked the question. I definitely wanted to hear his thoughts but maybe three other students shared before it was his turn to speak. “What I enjoyed most about today was working with you because you like me, other teachers don’t like me”. We had already heard about a students favourite game, how another student enjoyed the challenging nature of the day, while someone else said working with people she doesn’t usually work with. But here we had a learner who had most enjoyed being in a space where he felt liked. Why was being ‘liked’ important? What did he mean by being ‘liked’? How do we communicate being ‘liked’ to each other?

“Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone…” – John F. Kennedy

I had sensed that this student faced certain challenges within the classroom environment as the teacher and I had spoken many times during the day. We had both commented about how impressed we were with his engagement, problem solving and contribution to the group as the experience progressed. He had had an aliveness about him during the challenges in particular, owning his opportunity to lead and make a difference for himself and others. His heart felt comment became a fantastic teachable moment for us all as we reflected on the day. It brought us back full circle to where we had started. How does the lens that we look out at the world impact our daily thoughts, words and actions, and what external factors are helping to shape the lens’ that we wear in different settings?

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” – Albert Einstein

There were no explicit moments where he was told that he was liked. Instead he interpreted certain thoughts, words and actions that built and reinforced the belief in his own and others worth and potential. We strive at Explore Discover Act to embody our vision of ‘informed, connected and empowered individuals believing deeply in their own and others potential’, with our mission being the vehicle we use to get there, ‘providing experiences that promote exploring the possibilities, discovering potential and acting authentically’. We are so grateful for the opportunity to positively impact the learning and leadership journeys of the students with whom we work. We can’t wait to hear how this student applies his connections and learning to other environments that he finds challenging to achieve more empowering ripples of growth and development.

“I’m not a teacher but an awakener.” – Robert Frost


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