“Valuing differences is what really drives synergy. Do you truly value the mental, emotional, and psychological differences among people? Or do you wish everyone would just agree with you so you could all get along? Many people mistake uniformity for unity; sameness for oneness. One word-boring! Differences should be seen as strengths, not weaknesses. They add zest to life.” – Steven Covey

I grew up as a water baby and can recall spending hours upon hours at the local water park and swimming pool. I ended up being a pretty decent freestyle swimmer and loved to race friends from one end to the other. One day I tried to race a person in the backstroke and my body was having NONE OF IT! I struggled and lost #bigly! As I pouted in defeat I realized the backstroke was not my strength. I asked for a rematch in freestyle and won. We both walked away with a win each.

Fast forward twenty years later…

I’ve been fortunate to observe many teachers and their styles. Every educator comes into the professions wanting to make a difference in the lives of students. They want to achieve! It is up to us to value their differences. Some educators excel in the freestyle of education, some the breaststroke. Others prefer the butterfly or the sidestroke. We all have the same goal in mind- Jump in (education) and swim (teach) towards the finish line (students’ growth). We’ve got to celebrate our differences!

It’s the same with our students.  We know which students think differently and it’s not up to us to manipulate what they think but to help them learn how to think. Their differences should be seen as strengths, not weaknesses!

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