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All Kids Need a Spark!

When Peter Benson talks about how every kid has a “Spark” and that we, as society simply aren’t naturally inclined to discover or ignite those Sparks, it both saddens me and makes me more determined than ever to be a part of positive change.

The scale of the challenge is overwhelming – there are 2.2 billion children under 18 in the world today – but the potential to start small and make a real difference quickly is equally inspiring.  Take the time to watch this video, and you’ll see what I mean.

Try setting a goal of finding the underlying Spark in five children you know. When you do, please come back and share the most interesting ones in this blog’s comment thread. It doesn’t have to be long. It would be interesting to see a range of the “Sparks” that are secretly driving children all over the country!

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

Get Started With Strengths-Based Education

Career Exploration Roadmap

A Career Exploration Roadmap

Hi Thrively Community!

My name is Jerry Blumengarten. You may know me for my website, Cybrary Man, where I’ve curated over 20,000 relevant links for students, teachers, administrators & parents or because on Twitter as @cybraryman1 where I regularly share my resources on many of the chats.  I taught in the New York City schools for 32 years and I have always been passionate about helping kids figure out their interests and careers.  I couldn’t be happier to contribute to the Thrively mission and doing what I can to add to the community!

Career Exploration… Already?

Parents and teachers need to not only talk to children even at an early age or grade but listen to them about their future choices, career options and life as an adult.  We should not wait until a child is in the last year of high school to decide about what they are interested in and their future plans. Learning about why people work, what work is like and the skills needed to be successful will help children on their road to successful futures.  I’ll talk about career exploration in a series of posts starting with my first topic, “self-discovery.”

Self Discovery:

To prepare children for their future we should start by having them do a self-examination and unearth their true interests, values, and aspirations. At the elementary and even middle school level children should reflect more on their likes, interests, and hobbies to learn more about themselves.  At this time they are starting to uncover their personality traits.  Children need to understand how they got to this point in their lives and begin thinking ahead to where they may be in the future.  So, start with Thrively’s Strength Assessment, this helps students identify their aspirations and interests.  Thrively’s Pathways, Sparks and Activities tabs then allow students to do a deep dive into the specifics of each.