Empowerment! What a great word! It sounds like a secret strength a superhero has…
E M P O W E R M E N T!
I feel like a superhero when I say “I am empowered!” Sometimes I actually believe I am empowered and am making a difference, like a superhero
……..other days not so much!
Photo credit Mrs Duublu
Google defines the word:
- authority or power given to someone to do something.
- “individuals are given empowerment to create their own dwellings”
- the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights.
- “political steps for the empowerment of women”
The definition “authority or power given…” even sounds like something that is bestowed or granted just like a superpower. “I grant you empowerment!” Imagine what you could do with that! …….
Now imagine what your students could do with that….empowerment!
There is an amazing amount of potential wrapped up in that one word and as educators we have the ability to bestow empowerment on all our students no matter their age. The missing part of the definition is passion, for empowerment to be successful there needs to be passion, connection. What are your students passionate about? What are they concerned about? What are their worries for the future? Lee Crockett says to find out what your students are concerned about and then ask them what they want to do about it. What problems do your students want to solve? Turn problems into challenges and seek solutions, that is empowerment!
How to begin? Start small, our Grade 1 students did a zero waste challenge for a term. In turn, families started being more aware of their home garbage production and recycling options. With continued support there is intent to share this challenge with other grade levels within the school and then perhaps with other schools in the community and beyond, creating a bigger connection for our students. Small, simple with a long lasting impact, student initiated, adult guided, and empowering for our students who really felt they were making a difference in decreasing waste production and helping the environment. They felt empowered!
We admire people who are empowered. Malala Yousafzai is an inspiring example of an empowered young person, at an early age she spoke out about equal education for girls in her home country. As a result of her actions she was violently attacked and left for dead. Instead of going into hiding Malala continues to speak out about inequality and education for women and girls. A Nobel prize winner she now travels the globe and inspires others to rebel against adversity, inequality and seek peace for everyone.
Empowerment it is our secret super power we can bestow on our students!