Every child has something to offer, a unique capability, a special contribution that only they can bring. As psychologist Carl Rogers once argued, all children should be unconditionally accepted with positive regard. Children need to know that they are valued for who they are, not just for what they do, and that they are accepted into the community of learning. They need to know that school is just the start of their long journey to discovery, and that failure is just another way of learning how to get it right in the end.
Teaching them tenacity, patience, the ability to apply creative solutions to problems and positive regard for their peers is infinitely more rewarding and important than just routine cognitive skills. Getting that balance right is our challenge as educators and while our school buildings might look traditional outside what we do inside them is not!