Friendship is pretty magical.
Recently students at Ecole Mother Teresa School were able to discover just how magical it is, with help from Magician, professional educator and entertainer Steve Harmer.
Harmer, a former 21-year teacher and principal, brought his unique style of magical education to students in Grade 3-5 by sharing “The Friendship Factor.” This program teaches students the value of friendship using the acronym F.R.I.E.N.D.S.
“So for every letter of friends, I gave them a strategy,” Harmer said. “’F’ is for feeling; ‘R’ is being a Real friend not a fake friend; ‘I’ is for inviting people into your life, rather then just waiting around; ‘E’ is for encouraging people, rather then discouraging them; ‘N’ is for using names respectfully. Our names are special to us; ‘D’ is for being dependable. We are better friends if we show up and do what we say we are going to do; ‘S’ is for smiling a lot.”
Harmer illustrated each one of these strategies using magic tricks, including the famous “Rabbit out a hat” trick. Harmer believes that his passion for magic allows kids to learn in exciting ways.
“My program is called Motivational Magic because as a former teacher and principal, I wanted to teach kids through this other skill that I have,” he said. “I learned magic as a teenager and worked at Callaway Park for 16 summers. While I was still teaching, I decided to go full time and use these skills to teach.”
Harmer has 10 different shows and believes that each one is an integral lesion to future success. Friendship, for Harmer, is key to forging strong relationships.
“In life we have to cooperate,” he explained. “We don’t live in isolation so the more we can get along with others, the more friends we have, the better we will be in business and education. Whatever we do is all based on relationships.
Teachers do this every day and I just reinforce it with a program that provides strategies and things that kids can do,” he added.
Harmer has been to Sylvan Lake several times, after being invited by multiple schools in the area. He credits schools inviting him back to his ability to work his programming into the school’s current curriculum.