It’s a joy to be spending a few weeks with precious little gifts, Matan and Shai, one blonde, calm and smiley, the other dark, energetic and curious. Perhaps they’ll grow to have much in common, but I think they will always be very different.
The local cousins have seven children between them, aged from 2 to 16, each one so different from the next, it’s hard to believe they are related. They have varying interests and strengths, some have discovered their passions, some find school tedious, each has their own unique learning story.
All of which reminds me of a question I often ask: Who are ‘they‘?
You hear about ‘them‘ frequently, in the things their teachers say…
‘They’ struggled with this.
‘They’ won’t be able to do that.
‘They’ don’t get it.
‘They’ are a talkative bunch.
‘They’ are an interesting group.
‘They’ are a tough class.
They can, they can’t, they do, they don’t…
There is no ‘they!’
Every learner has her own way of constructing meaning. Each one has something valuable to contribute. Each learns in a different way. Each has talents, challenges, interests, needs and a personal story that matters.
Stop lumping ‘them’ together in one generalisation.
And leaders, your teachers are not ‘they‘ either!