Imagine sitting in a room with 24 other people and a dictator who tells you what to do, when to do it and how to do it. No one knows your dreams, your interests, your hopes, and your fears. Would you want to spend 180 days in that room? No way…
We learned long ago that relationships matter. Students need to feel like they are a part of the classroom and that their thoughts and ideas are important. They need to be able to take a risk, share news about their home and their interests and communicate with others. If students aren’t more than a number or grade, they will miss out on so much!!! And guess what? So will you!
Now anyone who reads anything about working with students especially students who live in poverty knows that relationships are the number one factor in student performance. But has anyone ever thought about how it affects the teacher? Think about it…teachers who take the effort to get to know their students tend to enjoy teaching more. It’s true! Some of my best memories include tears of joy with my students when parents return from deployment or (sadly) jail after months of discussions about how much they miss them. Ever listen to a student belt out a tune because she thinks she is the next Adele? How about conversations the day after American Idol??? Oh yeah….we know! We love to hear about baseball games, soccer, gymnastics and dance. Sharing trophies and medals are part of our daily existence. Have you ever thought about how it makes YOU feel? In a word…joyful!
Now teachers are always saying…but that takes TIME. The four letter word in education is TIME. How do we do it and do it effectively without causing you to lose your mind? I don't have an easy answer for this...but I will share some stories from my class in the near future...Stay tuned.