Today I read an article that really resonated with me. Should Student Success Include Happiness appeared in the Huffington Post’s Education section and it discussed the idea of taking a more holistic approach to gauging success in children. Yes, we want our children to be career-ready, but don’t we also want them to be happy?
We can teach children how to be prepared for the competitive job market but can we teach them how to be happy? These two ideas don’t need to be mutually exclusive and in fact, happiness might play a larger role in student success. I believe it.
I believe it because I see so many real life examples everyday of educators who do both. Yes, they teach a very important and pertinent curriculum designed to challenge students and ultimately prepare them for a successful future. But, I also see these same teachers cultivating positive energy and meaningfulness into their lesson plans. Connecting with students to better understand what makes them tick so that content becomes more personal and relevant. I also see these same teachers bonding with, mentoring and supporting students in an effort to instill confidence, self-worth and enthusiasm, all of which contribute to happiness. And sometimes, just sometimes, all a student needs is a bit of nurturing to ignite the flame for learning.
Just look at Kathy Bosiak’s profile and you will see how it is done. Kathy is one of our 2015 LifeChanger of the Year winners. She’s known for teaching a dynamic and robust curriculum at Lincolnton High School in North Carolina where she teaches science. She also has a knack for building positive and lasting relationships with her students. Many of which describe her as the best teacher they ever had because of her ability to teach, connect and inspire.
It’s through the 200-plus comments from students, both past and present, and colleagues, that prove it is possible to teach an academically-rigorous curriculum that also develops students emotionally and socially. She pours a healthy dose of meaning and purpose into each one of her lesson plans.
Like so many of our LifeChangers, Kathy wears multiple hats and one of them is caring for the wellbeing of her students.
My son is only one right now. He still has a few years before he starts school. I want the world for him. Yes, I want him to be successful in school and eventually go on to land a great job. And, not but, I want him to have fun along the way. I’m confident he will be lucky enough to have educators who can teach both.