Total Pageviews

Saturday, October 5, 2013

How I Found My Genius!

Miss Margaret Romper Room
It was the cornucopia of childhood moments. Plastered to the black and white television screen along with children everywhere, I waited with baited breath for Miss Margaret’s daily epilogue. It was Romper Room. The year was 1969. The stage was my living room, gold shag carpet and an untouched peanut-butter-jelly sandwich within reach.
Miss Margaret raised her magic mirror and blazingly looked through the screen. Would today be the day she saw me? One could never tell. It had been days, weeks, no months since I’d mailed my fan letter with a Polaroid of the marshmallow castle meticulously put together with marshmallows, toothpicks, and crushed potato chips.
Yes, I could feel it. Today was my lucky day.
“I see Bobby, Susan, Johnny….” I held my breath.

Just as I thought the final name had been called, she said, “And I see, Tamra.”
I'm sure my mom eventually calmed me down after days of dancing and jumping up and down during Romper Room. Nothing after age seven could possibly bring more contentment and reassurance as the day Miss Margaret said my name. Whether I realized it or not, the day Miss Margaret said my name was the day I learned my life had significance. I was noticed. I mattered.

There is a new movement sweeping Twitterville and schools across the world called, “Genius Hour.” Fueled by the inspiration and voice of Angela Maiers who, I am convinced, is the Miss Margaret to this generation of children who desperately need to hear the words, "you matter.”

They need to hear their name.

 But unlike Miss Margaret, there is no magic mirror, or final episode, because Angela is carrying her message of hope and inspiration to the heart of educators who then, in turn, can take this message onto their campuses and into the classrooms.

 Can you imagine what kind of revolution could start if this generation begins to believe that they have something to give, that the world is better off because they are here? Think about that one student who seems withdrawn, who has bags under their eyes from lack of sleep, and they’re only ten? Think about the trouble maker who fails to turn in assignments and they are dubbed a failure, a goof, in middle school? What if something happened to change them? A kind word or a hug to add sparkle and life to the ten-year-old? Forgiving a slew of zeros and patiently re-teaching a student until they "get it?" 

 I confess that I have been relying on the razzle-dazzle message of a demi-god educational guru or the growth mindset of a handful of high-powered administrators to change our educational system. But what if the change doesn't begin with policy and procedures, or a new grading system? What if change begins on a much simpler note? What if it is as easy as saying a child's name?

Please check out the following link:  Angela Maiers on You Matter!

Confession Reflection:

1. What are the benefits of scheduled time within the school day for students to investigate and explore their own interests?
2. How can educators break the pattern of failure in students especially at the secondary level? i.e. alternative graduation plans, career readiness training, flexible grading policies.
3. Why is it important to build relationships with students beyond the classroom?\


1 comment:

  1. Tamra, Jump in! I'm excited for you and your students. When you do decide that this is what you'll be trying this year, please take time to tag your posts with "Genius Hour" or something similar so someone can come to your beautiful blog (loved the post about EdCampHome!) and see all of your posts regarding Genius Hour in one click.

    Your questions are very important to reflect upon... I'm still reflecting on them each day. I've got the third one covered, though - seeing results this year already. Enjoy this time with your students - I know they'll enjoy their time with you!