Leading with Our Hearts

This past week, we listened to Carol Todd‘s story of her daughter Amanda – A story of loss that has led many of us to dig deep in personal and professional reflection.

As educators, we listen to Carol and think of the students we will meet in the future and how we can play a positive role in their lives.  We think of creating a classroom environment that fosters safety, acceptance, and support for all.  We think of helping to make sure future families do not have to endure the same loss and tragedy as with Amanda’s family.

As a means of honouring her, this post isn’t going to focus on Amanda Todd, but rather the significance of her story for teachers.  

The reality:  We aren’t superheroes.  We are logical and emotional – we will walk into our classrooms using our brains but lead with our hearts.

Sure, we can try our best to integrate lessons and units linked to digital citizenship, digital identity, cyber-bullying, and other issues facing adolescents and youth.

Below is an example of a video created by a 13-year old regarding cyber-bullying: 

However, the biggest impact we will have is when we are able to connect with our students in a way that allows them to be positively influenced in all areas of their life.  Teachers spend a great deal of time with students throughout the school year and have the opportunity of seeing student development in academic areas as well as social interactions.  Like I said, we are not superheroes.  Teachers are riddled with responsibilities, busy days and nights, and it can be easy to become overwhelmed with the daily requirements of the profession.  However, we can’t forget the foremost reasons for entering the field of education, despite the struggles and difficulties that come along with it.  We should aspire to be a major supports in our students’ lives.

I wanted to keep this post brief.  I am grateful to have listened to Carol Todd speak and would recommend listening to her Ted Talk on April 16th.  I also encourage anyone to read some of my classmates’ reflections: Brea’s post regarding Carol’s conversation with us includes some of Carol’s most inspirational sharings.  Whitney shares a personal story of a time in high school when some of her peers were making jokes.

My reflection is succinct, yet profound.  I don’t have much as a way of conclusion other than this question:  As a teacher, how do you plan to “lead with your heart?” 



One thought on “Leading with Our Hearts

  1. Thanks for the share Marissa, also really enjoyed your post as well. I totally agree that we have the opportunity to help students shape there digital identity and the amount of time we spend with them does matter. As our society is increasing the use of technology and social media students are often faced with cyberbullying, harassment and so much more at an early age. Therefore teachers and students need to be aware of it and introduce it at a younger age.


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