The Tower of Opportunity

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The Tower of Opportunity

The tower of opportunity is a visual metaphor that I've used for many years in the classroom. It's very important for my students to understand the purposes of their learning, so they can learn the meaning of their work. I read a wonderful book at the beginning of my career called, "Why Do I Have to Learn This?" by a man named, Dale Parnell. In the book, Parnell describes seven life roles that every one of us occupies in our life. Roles such as; worker, consumer, citizen, leisure participant, et cetera. I was trying to find a way to bring those roles into my classroom to provide meaning and context to the classroom learning. So my architect friend helped me prepare a seven story tower, where each floor represented each one of the life roles. Then on the other side, there are three examples of each role. Each role is written on a door with a doorknob. The message to the kids is, that each door is literally the key that opens doors. The harder you work in school and the more you learn, the more doors you can open for yourself and the more options you have in life. I think that is the message that kids need to know; by committing themselves to academic pursuits, they open up a lot of options for themselves as they get older. Starting in Middle School, High School, opening up opportunities for College as they are ready to enter the workforce.

See Steve Reifman's video on The Tower of Opportunity...


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Steve Reifman

Teacher, Author & Speaker

Steve Reifman is a National Board Certified elementary school teacher, author, and speaker in Santa Monica, CA. He has written several resource books for educators and parents, including Changing Kids’ Lives One Quote at a TimeEight Essentials for Empowered Teaching and Learning, K-8, and Rock It! In addition, Steve has created a series of shorter, e-book resources for educators, including The First 10 Minutes: A Classroom Morning Routine that Reaches and Teaches the Whole ChildThe First 30 Days: Start Your School Year with 4 Priorities in Mind, and 2-Minute Biographies for Kids: Inspirational Success Stories About 19 Famous People and the Importance of Education. He is also the creator of the Chase Manning Mystery Series for children 8-12 years of age. For Teaching Tips, articles, and other valuable resources and strategies on teaching the whole child, visit and subscribe at  subscribe to his “Teaching Kids” YouTube channel, check out his two professional development courses for educators on, and visit his Teachers Pay Teachers page.

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