To matter: to be of importance, or to have significance.
The world has a mattering problem. When we’re very young, many of us have natural confidence, creativity and curiosity because we feel empowered and important. But somewhere along the way, too many of us start to think that we don’t matter. That our passion, skills, or ideas are not valuable. When our belief in ourselves falters, we limit ourselves and stop reaching for greatness.
In the classroom, when students don’t feel that they matter, their performance suffers. They are less likely to collaborate with their peers, and lose motivation and interest in academics. Further to that, research shows that when any person doesn’t believe that they matter, it has a measurable negative impact on their self-esteem, and has been associated with depressive symptoms, anxiety, and other forms of psychological distress.
Many of the challenges that we face as a society are fueled by individuals who create conflict out of an unmet need to feel important. The root of many conflicts, including bullying, is often an individual’s lack of self-esteem and inability to treat themselves, and others, as valuable.
If every person’s belief in their own value can have such a profound impact on individuals, classrooms, and the world, why is our society not doing more to ensure that every student knows that they matter?
We at SMART believe that when students know they matter, they achieve great things. We believe that greatness exists in every student. We believe that it’s up to all of us to help them discover and develop it.
Because when students realize what they’re good at and what they love to do, they develop a sense of purpose, of mattering. Happiness, success, and confidence all come from finding their purpose.
This is why we’re honored to put our company’s signature to Choose2Matter and Angela Maiers’ You Matter Manifesto.
This manifesto is a call to action encouraging everyone to see, acknowledge, and appreciate the greatness that lies within us, and within others. Our world will be a better place if we help those around us, especially children and youth, to believe in themselves and in their own greatness. The ripple effect caused by this will create healthier classrooms, stronger relationships, and a better future for all of us.
We know that every student comes to school facing their own unique set of challenges. And we know that educators and the classrooms they create have incredible power to help every student, regardless of their circumstances, realize they are worthy; that they matter.
We also know that educators are best able to help each student find their greatness when they have the tools and support to unleash their own greatness as teachers. Students and teachers who are able to pursue their greatness will seek creative solutions to problems. They’ll take risks, and they won’t be afraid to fail.
We believe that the right technology, when paired with support for teachers and strong pedagogy, can make every classroom a place where each learner discovers, develops and shares their greatness. This belief drives every product we make.
We’re also making a commitment to amplifying stories of students, teachers and education leaders who are pursuing and sharing their greatness.
One of these students is Caleb, whose greatness is creating things. Together with his teacher, SMART Exemplary Educator Jody Bean, Caleb discovered his love of coding and has started down a path toward a career in software engineering. Meet Caleb and learn more about his story in this video.
What if every student in every classroom knew, like Caleb knows, that they have something unique and precious to contribute to the world? Imagine… a world in which ALL students are inspired to reach for greatness because they know that that matter.
Be a part of this conversation. Join us on social, read and share the You Matter Manifesto, and come hear Angela Maiers and Lord Jim Knight speak at ISTE 2017 about exciting new research. Get all of the details here.