Editor’s Note: Michelle Delp is a fourth-grade teacher at Lamarque Elementary School and a Mind in the Making Facilitator.
Mind in the Making cohorts are opportunities for parents, caregivers, and educators to learn about how children learn best through modules that draw on brain development research. Applying these practices lead to better outcomes for children through the promotion of essential life skills. Team Talent started on a Saturday morning by introducing members. We were excited to welcome two Lamarque Lion parents into our learning journey with other educators from area schools. As introductions were made, one of our parents spoke English as a second language. He explained that he was shy about his speech and did not like to talk in groups. We were proud he didn’t let his fears stop him and welcomed him into our cohort. Then we moved into the learning modules.
We worked together for two Saturdays, a total of 16 hours, sharing stories and ideas. An amazing thing occurred when this same parent shared his story in his native language to the other participants. He came out of his shell! He explained his life between two countries and the journey of where it has taken him. When he spoke, he was so animated, and his body language was mesmerizing. We couldn’t stop listening to his voice. Then he explained his story in English for all of us to understand. He spoke about the love of his family and what this country has given him. I watched him transform. The confidence to communicate within our cohort about his life gave him the strength to share ideas and thoughts as well as model his paper hat for all to see.
When listening to him, we practiced perspective taking and realized it’s essential that we remember our community is diverse, especially when we come together to make a difference in the lives of our children.