The days just prior to Christmas can be a challenging time in schools and for students and teachers. There is a lot going on. For younger students there is the anticipation of gifts and new toys that wreaks havoc on their already tentative attention spans. For older students there is the anticipation of a week off suggesting they start slowing down soon if not now. There are holiday concerts and decorations to put up and classroom parties and secret Santas. Throw in a random snow day and it's no wonder this time of year can seem like a snow globe in mid-shake.
Not to mention that for many schools a term is closing. There are exams and papers due and grades to submit. When I think about the 8 Conditions under these circumstances they sparkle. Obviously I believe they ought to be a year round phenomenon in schools, just as evergreens are ever green. But at this time, even with the swirl of activity, and maybe because of it, they light up. Belonging wraps people together more tightly. Heroes become more present. Fun & Excitement twinkles. As students collect toys for those in need, Leadership & Responsibility shines.
The real challenge is not to keep our heads about us mid-shake, it's how to keep our hearts about us. I mean that in every punny way you can think of. Try hooking your weighted-down sleigh to the 8 Conditions for the next week and a half, and see if it helps you pull through.
The Quaglia Institute for Student Aspirations is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and putting into practice the conditions that foster student aspirations in schools and learning communities around the world. Please visit us on the web at www.qisa.org.
The views represented in this blog are my own and do not represent QISA's stance on any of the issues discussed.