“I’m just not one of the smart kids.” Have you heard those words from your student or a similar statement? We live in a society that places emphasis on grades and overall performance in school, and if a student is not successful by school standards, that child may come to believe that he or she is “just not smart enough.” However, that is not a true statement. Instead, we need to encourage students to discover what smart kids they really are. Let me explain.
In her book “8 Great Smarts”, Dr. Kathy Koch proposes that there are eight ways that students tend to show their intelligence, and it is important to affirm and nurture these smarts; otherwise, they can become weaknesses. For example, a student who likes to talk to others may be word and peoplesmart. Simply telling the student that he or she needs to be quiet does not develop either smart. However, affirming the student’s need to “talk things out” in a respectful manner helps him or her learn how to use those smarts.