Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

Teachers as Prophets: The Power to “PROF-a-sigh” Into Students’ Futures

As a teacher, you may have not considered yourself to be a “prophet.” When we recognize, call out, and encourage special and unique giftedness in our students, however, I believe we can act as prophets in their lives. The verb “prophesy” (pronounced “PROF-a-sigh”) means “to predict something.” Have you ever recognized one of your students has a particularly strong aptitude for something? It could be writing. Or empathetically listening to and understanding others. Or using computational thinking skills to creatively author algorithms. When you recognize giftedness in a student, help them recognize it, and celebrate it together, you’re “PROF-a-sigh-ing” into their life. You’re helping them “see” their own unique giftedness, and the important contributions they are and can make to our world by using their gifts in powerful ways.

Words matter. Our encouragement to our students matters. The ways we recognize and encourage the unique abilities, talents, and giftedness of our students can create ripples which will “echo through eternity.”

This week, I encourage YOU to embrace the unique and special opportunities you have to act as a prophet in the lives of your students. Our school year in the northern hemisphere is wrapping up, and we might have opportunities to write short notes to our students, celebrating their growth and wishing them well as they depart our classroom to continue their journey of learning beyond the walls we’ve shared the past 10 months. Consider sharing with some of your students the unique talents and gifts you “see” which they possess and demonstrate. Encourage them to recognize and “name” those gifts, and continue to use them in the months and years ahead to make our world a better place.

With our words, we have the power to bless, and the power to curse. Use your words this week to bless, and open the eyes of the students in your care to the bright future which awaits them as they discover and live into their special “calling” in our world. Share your insights of prophesy with others.

As teachers, we wield tremendous power to influence and durably impact the minds and lives of others. Embrace your role as a prophet in your classroom.

Scratch Thank You Note by Wesley Fryer, on Flickr
"Scratch Thank You Note" (CC BY 2.0) by Wesley Fryer

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