Important Message by an Inspirational Adult
I would like to introduce you all to Riia Talve.
I really wanted to feature Riia on our Inspirational Kids blog, but she is no longer a student. She is an adult with a very important message, one that we should listen to carefully and then reflect on our own practises with her thoughts, feelings, and wishes in mind.
Riia went through elementary school and high school with learning disabilities. She worked with an Education Assistant whom she relied on greatly. According to Riia, too much. As a result, Riia was expected to do very little on her own. According to Riia , she didn’t do anything on her own. Everything was done for Riia. Some may feel grateful for this extra assistance. Not Riia. She felt robbed from never having the option to try and then fail.
Here are a few important and influential messages from Riia,
Before switching schools in Grade 9, Riaa
“felt more like a servant of the school than a student of the school.”
Once Riaa switched schools she was allowed fail. In her video below, she talks about the importance of this.
“Having the opportunity to fail was awesome. I was like, this is totally wrong, but I did it all by myself.”
“I was allowed to do my own work independently. Right or wrong, I’d do it all on my own.”
“It made me feel trusted to do my own work.”
“I got help, but only after I’d given it a really good try – just like any other regular student.”
“I loved the challenge. I was allowed to make decisions and I had choices.”
“Most importantly, I was allowed to fail.”
Please take a few minutes to watch Riaa’s inspirational video.
Riia is now an inspirational speaker and an artist. You can learn more about Riaa’s journey and see some of her art on her blog here.
As you reflect on Riia’s story ask yourself,
- Are all our students given the opportunity to take risks and fail?
- Do you have high expectations for all your students?
- Do you trust your students enough to try to complete their work on their own?
- How do you ensure all your students feel valued in what they do and how they assist the school?
- Do all your students have the opportunity to do community service around the school? If you have the same students doing the same jobs during the entire year (i.e. recycling) how are you sure that they are okay with this job for the entire year?
- What will you do differently now that you have watched Riia’s video?
All of our students (and all educators, for that matter) have the right to take risks and make mistakes.
All of our students have the right to try on their own.
We should have high expectations of all our students.
We want to ensure that our students feel honoured for doing community service and not feel used because of their service.
It is our responsibility to ensure that our students know we believe in them. They need to know that they Matter.
How do you ensure all students find school rewarding, challenging, and meaningful?
Thank you to Riia for your inspirational message.
I hope you all take Riia’s message to heart.