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Five Ways to Spot a Great Educator

First off, what defines an educator?

An educator doesn’t necessarily mean a school teacher, although it can. In fact, many of the people who educate us have nothing to do with what goes on in a classroom. Parents, grandparents, older siblings, religious leaders, peers, businesspeople and coaches, just to name a few, are primary educators in the lives of students. Learning isn’t something that comes from a book, but rather something that comes from the vibrant experiences that we have in life. At Thrively we know that educators are instrumental in shaping a student’s success and building his/her character, so let us help you spot the greatest ones!

Taking decisions for the future

1. Have active intellectual lives

They believe in continuing to learn themselves. And while these people don’t necessarily have high SAT scores or perfect GPAs in college, they do continue improve their own learning all of the time. Powerful educators are passionate about intellectuals pursuits – be that art, poetry, science, math, whatever their interests are.

2. Are fun!

Education isn’t dry – not good education anyway. Children, and adults for that matter, connect with education that’s exciting and enriching, and makes them happy.

3. See your child for who they are

Your child is a unique individual. Great educators don’t see success as one thing, they don’t believe in the cookie cutter mold of happiness or accomplishment. These individuals encourage children to explore their interests, whatever those may be.

4. Create opportunities for learning

Learning doesn’t always take place at a desk, though it certainly can. Educators who are positive forces in the life of your child find ways to incorporate learning into everyday life. Whether that’s in the grocery store, at a baseball game, or walking through the neighborhood – learning can happen everywhere, because life isn’t limited.

5. Believe intelligence is achievable

This one is truly important. Good educators believe that intelligence is not inborn. They believe that, while there may be a genetic predisposition to it, that children can learn to be intelligent through exposure to academic content and critical thinking skills. And they believe that your child is capable to making leaps in intelligence through positive support.

Look around for the great educators in the life of your child. Seek out those individuals who possess these qualities, and encourage them to share their skills with your child!

What is Strengths-Based Education?

Research confirms that a student’s success is driven by non-academic factors such as their character, parental support and the level of hope + engagement they feel within school. Districts and schools have generally addressed this by trying to implement point programs (ex. advisory, life skills classes, interventions) in the face of increasing accountability for student performance in core subjects. Thrively is changing this dynamic by introducing a new, holistic approach for student learning. Strengths-Based Education (SBE) incorporates social/emotional learning, student career, and interest exploration and student-centered learning (or student-directed projects) into a cohesive pedagogy that helps students find relevance in school and life.

Strengths-Based Education is successful when students have:

  • Built a growth mindset;
  • Developed 21st Century Skills and habits;
  • Identified multiple, exciting post-secondary pathways; and
  • Strengthened their social support structures.

These goals can be accomplished when students’ K-12 journey includes a thoughtful implementation of SBE that is truly 360 degrees in nature. In other words, it must proactively include parents, community and out-of-school time. No component of SBE exists by itself. They are inter-related and non-linear.  Thrively enables Strength-Based Education through our platform, taking students, teachers, and parents through the entire process.  Our Strength Assessment helps students discover their character strengths and is the starting point for social-emotional learning.  Students then identify their interests and career aspirations through our Pathways, Videos, and Activities.  Finally, educators turn their students’ interests into true “student-centered learning” by facilitating projects.  Explore what Strengths-Based Learning can do for your students at Thrively.

SBEoverview

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