While I was at ASCD, I had the opportunity to hear Todd Whitaker speak. Some of the thoughts that he expressed have really been rolling around in my brain lately. His advice is plain old common sense, but like one of students said, "You know, common sense isn't so common." Sometimes, we may need reminding of these things to give us some persepective....especially as the school year is winding down and we are making plans for the next year.
We have a choice of what comes into our room whether it's positive or negative. As the teacher, we set the tone. We are the filter as to what gets through to our students and impacts our days, positively or negatively. We must treat every student with respect every day for the entire school year. We all know that learners who are treated with respect will, in turn, treat others with respect. This creates a positive culture where students feel open to exploring new ideas and trying new things.
Parents send us their best kids. I laughed when he said this, but as I pondered it, I realized that it is absolutely true. Those kids are the best the parents have. It is our job to nurture, educate, and give them the best that we've got. Making excuses does not help anyone. It's a waste of energy.We know that students don't have a choice in where they live, their socioeconomic level, or their family situation. Our job is not to judge them, but work with each of them, nuturing their talents, finding their challenges, and empowering them with the ability to be successful people who can make a difference in this world.
photo credit: mkrigsman via photo pin cc