The holiday break has arrived and between the shopping, wrapping, house fixes, and some rest in between, Disney+ releases a bundle of movies from my childhood. I have enjoyed introducing my own children to different movies of the past. I get excited about their giggles and enjoyment of movies that i connected with as a child.
There was one movie however that I remember being fun and entertaining, but when I saw a clip of it my teacher brain shouted "alert, alert, do not replicate".
Here's the Scene from the 2005 classic Sky High (forgive the typo in the video title):
Are you a hero or a sidekick? The line was drawn very clear. At the end of the clip, the character, Layla, challenges her teacher's perspective on applying a label onto the students but is written off.
Think about this. Where are we putting labels on our students? Jo Boaler dives into this and shares incredible examples of the dangers of labeling our students in her book The Limitless Mind
In her book, Boaler shares her research and personal expereince that the impacts of labeling students has. Boaler writes, "We are no longer in the fixed-brain era; we are in the brain growth era. Brain-growth journeys should be celebrated, and we need to replace the outdated ideas and programs that falsely deem certain people more capable than others, especially when those outdated labels become the source of gender and racial inequalities. Everybody is on a growth journey. There is no need to burden children or adults with damaging dichotomous thinking that divides people into those who can and those who cannot." (Boaler pg. 53).
Considering we are all guilty of putting labels on ourselves and our students, perhaps we have an opportunity to rethink the processes in our classrooms and create a new path of learning where we focus more on growth than labels?
Boaler, J. (2019). Limitless mind: Learn, lead, and live without barriers. pg. 53
Taylor currently serves as a Coordinator of Innovative Learning for a mid-sized school district in Texas. He is a speaker, writer, and coach for all who are in conflict with the status quo.