I hope the new year is being good to all of you, we’ve been living the Preschool Dream here in the classroom. The children are grounded and connected to the space and, as of last week, still enchanted by the novelty of the new work on the shelves.
It’s this time of year when you really get a sense, as a teacher, that the children have created their own society within the framework of the classroom. They look to one another for lessons, support, and someone to open their string cheese at lunch. And while we’re always available to perform any of those functions, as far as I’m concerned a poorly given lesson by a 4 year old will always outweigh my most practiced demonstrations.
Self Efficacy, the belief in one’s ability, is among the most important factors in adult success. It goes deeper than self-esteem, self-efficacy comes down to trust in oneself. It’s not some ephemeral sense that you’re a good person but that solid feeling in your gut that keeps your nerves steady in the face of daunting tasks. Self-efficacy has been linked to the caliber of goals people choose, goal commitment levels, persistence, as well as resilience to substance abuse and depression.
And it starts with evidence and the autonomy necessary to accumulate it. Every time they wash a table, complete a project, or assist a classmate they file away evidence of their capability that will weigh more heavily in their self-assessment than all the praise in the world.
Dr. Stephen Hughes, 6-9 pm Tuesday January 24 at the Museum of History and Industry
So that mini psychology lecture was inspired by the fact that one of my heros, Dr. Stephen Hughes, will be giving his “School 2.0” lecture here in Seattle!
Dr. Hughes is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics & Neurology at the University of Minnesota Medical School, serves as the President of the American Board of Pediatric Neuropsychology, the Chair of the Association Montessori Internationale Global Research Committee—and most importantly, a Montessori parent.
Dr. Hughes will discuss the challenges facing educators, parents, and children in the 21st century and discuss how Montessori (and other montessori-like approaches) address those challenges moving forward.
The lecture will be preceded by a wine & appetizer reception at 6:00 pm, Dr. Hughes will begin speaking at 7. Tickets can be purchased online from the host school for $15 or $18 at the door. I’ve pasted the link to their site below where you can find more information on the lecture as well as purchase tickets. I hope to see you all there!
If you are unable to make the lecture I urge you to visit Dr. Hughes’ website www.goodatdoingthings.com where he makes screen casts available from a number of his talks as well as other fascinating information on the nexus between education, psychology, and neurology.