Finding the Good in the Bad

I remember one student I worked with who was quite a handful for teachers. He was very quick on his feet, and if he noticed that he got on your nerves, he would double down on what he was doing.  Although I was bothered by his behaviour, I did see that his ability to read people was quite amazing and he had some genius in him. I worked with him quite a bit to focus on how to use his abilities to raise people up, not tear them down, and as he grew into an adult, he became very successful using those abilities to serve people.  I wouldn’t say that I was the reason he was successful, but I do know that trying to find the “good” in the negative, was something that helped him move forward, as it does with many students.

As I always say, some of your brightest students are terrible at school, but do we find the genius in them?

In this post, “5 Weird Signs You’re More Creative Than Average“, Jessica Stillman shares 5 signs of creativity that we would not always consider:

1. You’re sarcastic

2. You’re easily distractible.

3. You’re grouchy.

4. You’re an emotional roller coaster.

5. You argue with people you disagree with

As I thought about this post, would the above characteristics be something that we would be comfortable with in schools? This quote from the article struck me:

While the fruits of creativity are lucrative, glamorous, and easy to crave, a growing body of science testifies to the fact that living breathing creative talents are sometimes harder to love.

What I am NOT trying to say in this post is that it is totally fine for students (or adults) to be disrespectful, because that would make them creative.  What I hope people see is that sometimes there are strengths in our students where we sometimes see weakness. Looking for good is the first step to finding it.

Source: George Couros

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