Every Wednesday we have morning meetings in my classroom. They are kid-facilitated, with topics ranging from their challenges to their compliments to anything involving other students.
Now and then, I “take over” and steer our morning meetings toward topics pertinent at that moment. For example, the Wednesday we were to visit their respective middle schools, we talked about their feelings about transitioning into middle school.
But sometimes, an idea just comes to me, and it always has a purpose. I trust the Universe on these occasions. Last week, I knew we needed to talk about what success means to them. I was really surprised by how insightful and mature their responses were, especially compared to mine at their age.
When I was growing up, all measures of success were career-oriented—toward careers that made lots of money. Money was the dominant measure of success.
I know times have changed a great deal when I hear 10 and 11 years olds saying their measure of success is “doing a job well” and “having good friends”.
So in hopes of inspiring you and providing you a little insight, here are the top five success “stories” from my students. (Note: I did not include the two who said to “get better at Fortnite”)
- Having a dream and achieving your dreams—not having dreams magically come true!
- Doing a job well by using your strengths
- Getting better at what you do and then moving to a different, challenging job
- Making good friends
- Setting and achieving goals
At the conclusion of that morning meeting, I knew it served two purposes—besides confirming to me that this class has a growth mindset! What really grounded me is how the students know their true measure of success. Their responses helped me understand them so much more.
Each morning meeting we’ve had served as an opportunity to get to know my students, but also to get me a little glimpse into a child’s mind. That knowledge inspires me to teach greatly and dare to be the best teacher for them.
Children can teach us all valuable lessons about life. Their mature sense of success informs us all that it’s not about the money or the status—–life is about friends, achieving dreams, and growing.
Wow. My students are some of the best teachers I know!