Finding your WHY?

In response to a TED talk given by Simon Sinek.

If you start with the why it connects directly to people’s behavior, their trust and their loyalty. Make a connection to the heart before you make a connection to the mind. People don’t buy what we do they buy why we do it.     -Simon Sinek “How great Leaders Inspire Action”

This is how I should feel about all my students:  “I love you just the way you are but love you too much to let you stay that way.”

I want to help students find their “native genius.”  When students find something that they love it fills them up.  Instead of sucking energy, it gives them energy.  If students can find something that they are really good and and enjoy it can fuel explorations and learning throughout their entire lives.  A student commented today, in a reflection about a spray painting session, “I finally found what I love in art.”

Focus on people not on stuff.  A good example of this when a student started peppering me with questions about my world travels.  She was hungry for stories and descriptions. I could have told her to get back to work but instead we had this great conversation that I think was inspiring to her and it also taught me an important lesson.  Students want to hear about my travels and my experiences in the Peace Corps.  How can I weave it into my teaching more?

Focus on student strengths everyday!  Instead of just saying “great job” give students specific feedback about their strengths and more importantly help them connect how they can use their strengths to tackle areas of weakness or desired growth.  Teaching and modeling for students how to recognize strengths in each other can have exponential results.  I am not the only one in the classroom doing it.

Help students be the best they can be.  This is the obvious generic WHY.

Get parents involved.  Not quite sure about this one as I don’t want to invite drama into the classroom.  Ask the students how their parents would like to be involved.

These are the pieces that go into my WHY.  It is important that my students know this.  Make sure they know this from day one: with how I introduce my classes, with quotes on the walls, with the focus of my coaching sessions with them.




Author: alexiszaccariello

I am art teacher at an alternative high school.

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