“The essence of mattering is two-fold: to know that you matter and that you have a genius, or you have an ability to solve a problem and make an impact that nobody else in the world has, and that any action that can move forward counts, because things are connected.” – Angela Maiers, USA
When I spoke to Angela Maiers for Daily Edventures last June, we talked a lot about noticing – paying attention to the world around us, and to the good work of teachers and students alike. “Noticing is the number-one job of teachers,” Maiers said. “Being in a state of noticing puts you in a fundamentally different state of learning.”
“Recognize that your goal isn’t to seek success; your goal is to seek significance. You can get a job and you can do work, you can pursue something that will make, you feel that you matter, that you are essential, that you are contributing the best of who you are, and that is far more valuable than any other achievement you can get. YOU MATTER.”
And with so much to notice, Maiers relies on technology (her blog, Twitter) for help. “Noticing is as simple as sending a 140-character message,” she added.
Maiers and I caught up again recently, and I am thrilled to share with you that her mission – not just to notice, but to ensure that kids know they matter – is in full swing. 1500 schools and 6000 classrooms have implemented “Genius Hour,” a time for students to focus on what matters, and explore how they and others can collaborate to create a better world. Three to four hundred projects have been shared so far, and the students are jumping in wholeheartedly. Maiers says, “The essence of mattering is two-fold: to know that you matter and that you have a genius, or you have an ability to solve a problem and make an impact that nobody else in the world has, and that any action that can move forward counts, because things are connected.”
Her process in promoting “passion-driven education” starts with a simple question to students: “What matters to you?” The question gets to the heart of what they are passionate about in the world, and when they further explore their ideas (“What breaks your heart about that?”), their true genius is ignited. “This is not about making kids feel good about themselves,” Maiers says, “this is about saying we need every human’s contribution in the world.”
I’m pleased to share the latest from Angela Maiers today in Daily Edventures, and to give you some ideas on noticing and valuing your students, and then empowering them to make a difference in the world.
To see more of Angela Maiers in action, go to http://www.youtube.com/user/AngelaMaiers/videos
About Angela Maiers
Angela Maiers is an award-winning educator, speaker, consultant, and professional trainer known for her work in literacy, leadership, and global communications. She has spent 22 years working in elementary, middle, and university settings as a classroom teacher, reading specialist, coach, special programs facilitator, and university professor.
Today, Angela is at the forefront of New Literacy and Web 2.0 technologies. An active blogger and social media evangelist, she is deeply committed to helping learners understand the transformational power of technology. Her intimate knowledge of teaching and learning, down-to-earth style, and powerful message of literacy-as-change have made her a highly sought-after keynote speaker and a vibrant, courageous voice in both the business and education sectors. Maiers is co-author of The Passion Driven Classroom: A Framework for Teaching and Learning.
- Birthplace: Marshalltown, Iowa
- Current residence: Clive, Iowa
- Education: Undergrad – University of Iowa Grad School, Post Grad – Drake University
- Website I check every day: Social Media Explorer
- Person who inspires me most: Seth Godin
- Favorite childhood memory: Spending time at my grandmother and grandfather’s house
- When was the last time you laughed? Why? Everyday!!! Five minutes on Twitter makes me smile- love the learning, love the community!
- Favorite book: Ish by Peter H. Reynolds
- Favorite music: Love all kinds, but Adele is top of my list now
- Your favorite quote or motto: We are smarter together!
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