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Mike Fleetham Mike's Thinking Classroom Blog


On Belief in Others

Thinking Classroom exists because of five people, apart from Lucy and I. These folks didn't invest money in it, expecting a return; they didn't advise on a certain business model or approach; they didn't and don't work for us. They all did something far greater. They all believed that Thinking Classroom would work. And their belief in me allowed me to believe more fully in myself, and in the direction I wanted to take.

I mention this now because one of the five is no longer with us, passing away recently; my good friend and believer Becky, claimed like so many, by cancer.

I pause to think what will happen to her belief in me and the many, many other people she held in her heart and mind now that she's gone. Will it fade and dwindle or will it rise up 'Obi-Wan-like', becoming far more powerful after being struck down. The latter I guess. I hope. I know.

I first met Becky in a baker's in Southsea. I was still developing my pedagogical feet in the classroom. A few months later her daughter showed up in my year 3 class, followed swiftly by a very perceptive comment, from Becky, in the home reading diary. She challenged me to think about the whole process of reading and the value of effective dialogue with parents.

From then on Becky became my friend, my conscience, my believer and my advocate. She and her family were there as I got to grips with Multiple Intelligences, with Thinking Skills, accelerated learning and emotional intelligence in the classroom. Little by little my learning philosophy emerged and thinking classroom evolved and all the while Becky was around, quietly believing, occasionally nudging, once in a while correcting, but always perfectly aligned with the purpose and passion.

Religion does not and should not have sole rights on belief and faith. And science would have a few thoughts to throw in here too I bet. But this is not the place for that debate. Belief is what you want it to be and for me, now, here, today it's about how one woman did nothing but hold an idea in her heart yet how that holding helped cause so much more to be created.

You are a guardian of learning; a custodian of the next generation and I believe in you. I believe that you have dedicated your life to the world and to its most valuable profession. And I trust that you will feel able to carry the same strength of belief with you, belief in yourself and your gifts, in your purpose and your service, but more than anything carry that strength as a solid, unshakable belief in every one of the children who face you each day.

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