A few months back during the Five Key Beliefs for Leaders experience, I reconnected with our colleague Martee Lopez-Schmidt, and she shared her experience using Henry Seton's daily class period dedication strategy. It is a lovely idea for cultivating the five key beliefs (especially Credibility, Value, and Belonging), but alas — I did not have time to try it in my classroom this school year.
Here's a simple approach that can work if you've only got a 15-minute time period with your students.
- Start class by telling your students something like this:
- Wow — what a year! What a great deal of hard work! What highs and lows!
- When author's finish the hard work of writing a book, they'll often dedicate the labor to someone. Have you ever noticed those dedication pages at the starts of books? Yes, that's what I'm talking about.
- Today, I want us to take a minute to do the same thing — to craft a dedication. It'll be simple:
- I'll share an example
- You'll create your own
- Because we're doing this rather quickly, I want you to think of one person or group — someone alive, someone passed, someone you've known personally, someone you've not — that you'd like to dedicate this past year's academic labors to.
- On Canvas, share who they are, what they mean to you, and why you're dedicating the year of learning to them.
- BONUS: include an image of the person(s) you're dedicating to. You may get your phone out for this activity if you've got a photo on there.
- Then share your example. (Mine's below this list.)
- Then give students 10 or so minutes to complete theirs.
- If you have time, have students share or have them look at what everyone else has submitted on your learning management system.
It's just a beautiful idea. It's good for our souls. It acknowledges the reality that school is not all of life, but school can be connected to all of life depending on how we think on it.
Best to you, colleague,