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Value of Positive Narratives of Students

Pearls of Wisdom
By Richelle Pearce
Value of Positive Narratives of Students

For over 30 years international school leaders, teachers, and counselors have come together for PTC professional learning experiences. Each day of every program begins with a “pearl of wisdom,” a “nugget of knowledge,” or a “gem of inspiration” from one of the participants. We are delighted to offer our readers around the world these powerful stories, insights, and strategies, all dedicated to our shared mission of ever more and better learning for our children.  

In this Pearl, Richelle shares her experience with the importance of creating a positive narrative. At the beginning of the school year, she took a very direct approach to ensuring the culture and foundation of the program was understood. However, she quickly realized that what had worked before wasn’t working now. Their Grade 1 students had spent most of their school years online and in Covid. They were faced with a new set of challenges before the academic learning could even begin. Richelle shares that, “Although so much greatness was happening, they were struggling to see beyond the needs.” Teachers began sharing their frustrations aand experiences. The narrative was out, and it wasn’t good. Richelle continues that she wanted the students and the teachers to have the positive narratives she knew they deserved. “We were focusing on needs, but we needed to start talking about and recognizing strengths.” She shifted the focus of conversations and discussions to the strengths of their students and their growth, they were kind, passionate, energetic students and beginning to become curious learners. This shift  had a huge impact on the energy and dispositions of the teachers. She says, “The power of the narrative not only drives vision and curriculum implementation but has the power to inspire, enthuse, and move people to action, both students and teachers.” Our best work is done when we form positive narratives for our team.

Professional positions cited were the ones held at the time of recording. The positions and schools of those quoted may have since changed.

Richelle Pearce is the Grade 1 Program Leader at the International School of Manila.

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