Rita Pierson’s message is as profound as it is important. She reminds us to keep our eye on the true spirit of why we became educators in the first place. I love how she points out that kids don’t learn from people they don’t like. I can’t agree with Ms. Pierson enough on this point. Children “feel” their teacher and have a keen sense of awareness of their teacher’s like for them.
As a teacher I loved being in the classroom with my students. I made sure they knew it was “our second home”. I occasionally shared information about myself and always verbalized to them that I cared about them and their progress. Our classroom environment was relaxed yet rigorous. Students worked hard to complete group assignments and felt safe coming to me with their questions. You know the cliché, “No question is a stupid question”. As cliché as it was, it was true. I got to know my students by having them write in a daily journal, and I would respond to all of them weekly. On any given school year I felt like I had 38 mini families. Today, as a school administrator, my role with students is differently defined. On any given day I do my best to make verbal contact with as many students as I can. My hope is that educators make connections with their students and families, and never forget that students are the best part of our job.
As educators we must not forget THE POWER OF POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS with students:
-Embrace their individuality. -Be the CEO of your classroom. -Create a community within the classroom. -Classroom teachers-Learn all students’ names within 48 hours. -Examine and improve nonverbal communication. -Treat all students with dignity and respect at all times. -Let them get to know a part of you.