May 02, 2018
As many of you know I have a history of teaching in the New York City Public School system. While there are tremendous people dedicated to educating our children, in my experience, the more economically challenged the youth, the higher the likelihood that they’ll fall short from learning, prospering and reaching their maximum potential. I refer to the New York City Public School system because my first teaching experiences started in New York, but the same holds true for youth at risk in other low income urban or rural communities around The United States.
Shifting the Deficit Perspective in Education
While this is a sad reality for many young people, there are also many stories with happy endings. BIZNOVATOR has committed itself to empowering youth from all walks of life to; Discover their Purpose, Transform their Mindset and Connect to their Future. We are focused on shifting the deficit perspective in education to one of youth empowerment. My experience as a youth development expert has resulted in hundreds of success stories that have come from my teaching days in New York City and many cities around the world. On our website, www.biznovator.com we have compiled a sampling of our best practices and success strategies that we have leveraged to empower our BIZNOVATOR Champions. (A “Champion” is a student that rose to the occasion and delivered the goods; or perhaps beat the odds and prospered in her/his life)
Within this article you’ll learn some very important lessons we consider when creating a BIZNOVATOR Champion regardless of their socio economic, cultural and the environment they come from. When asked, what’s the magic formula, I reply, there is no secret, but there are a few things to put into action when tapping into a child’s intellectual capacity.
Positioning Your Champion for Success through M.O.V.E.
Whether your child or student is stuck or not, it’s time to get them to M.O.V.E: Be about Motion! They can’t stay stagnate. Fitness, dance walking, running, or whatever it may be—get them to Move! There’s a direct correlation between movement, breaks, recess, energetic activities and how it improves cognition. In his book, “Teaching with the Brain in Mind”, Eric Jensen’s research proves that movement can be an effective cognitive strategy to (1) strengthen learning, (2) improve memory and retrieval, (3) enhance learner motivation and morale. In all my years of teaching, I learned that getting students to move brought a certain level of calmness and connectivity. If you’re an educator, I highly recommend that that you don’t assume that sitting for long periods of time and having students raising their hands is a model that truly works. Sitting in rows is simply old school. Get your learners to move!
In all of my years of teaching, I found that getting students to be Observant first - - and reactionary second - - was a key strategy. We encourage young people to visualize and tune into Observing others. It’s important to think about what you’re about to take action on before it happens. This improves your capacity to take in knowledge. It also gives you a better perceived understanding and will improve your chances of achieving or obtaining the experience, hence the knowledge.
Victor, not a victim! I’ve always believed that my students ARE winners - - they may just not know it yet! I have always believed that they could be victorious in their own game of life. As adults, it’s imperative that we focus on their own timing and empower them to give whatever capacity they can at that moment. I challenge all my students put aside that word victim and upgrade their mindset to the word, Victor. They can always do more. They can always stretch higher. They are not victims, they are Victors!
Excellence should be expected! It’s so important for children to realize this at an early age. If we could just get them to believe that they too can deliver Excellence. I’m a fan of teaching for mastery and not teaching to the test. One mistake we so often make in education is that we group students, teach them; getting them to study a specific subject and weeks later—take the test. So, what happens? Some students studied well and “memorized” the information and did great on the test. Others, who may have not understood the information, could have scored poorly. In either case, it not about passing or failing—it’s about learning. When I talk about Excellence, I’m referring the importance of young people building GRIT, pursue things with perseverance and focus. They must always give their best effort, hence eventually arriving at their desired mastery. Avoiding telling your Champion that the test will determine whether they’re excellent or not. We need recognize the value of work ethic and place value on that as much as we do on the score being the outcome.
These 4 Things Will Improve Your Champion’s Intellect
It is our job as adults and educators to empower our children to strive for greatness – for achieving their maximum potential, whatever that may be. Children are like oysters, and as educators, if we are not there when they are opened and ready, they’ll clam back up. When we teach to the heart, the brain will follow.
BIZNOVATOR is a youth empowerment platform that offers a year-round experience for young people interested in entrepreneurship, social innovation and global leadership. Through our seminars, workshops, summer camps and in school Academies, BIZNOVATOR helps young people to DISCOVER their purpose, TRANSFORM their mindset and CONNECT to their future. We have recently launched our Online Learning Platform, www.mybiznovator.com which enables young people from all over the world to experience our unique BIZNOVATOR programs. We invite you to join us!
Juan Pablo Casimiro is Founder and CEO of BIZNOVATOR. With more than 30 years of empowering youth and adults globally, Casimiro never misses a moment to teach, coach and challenge his clients to live their dreams. Casimiro was born in Dominican Republic and grew up in New York City.