Monday, February 1, 2016

Investing in Students

In The 7 Devices of Transformation in Education from  Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Victoria A Davis, she states,

“There is no excuse — learn their names. Learning the names and calling the names of kids is an investment. We invest in relationships.”

It is hard for teachers to get close to students. There are many good reasons to keep our distance.  

·      Some students make false allegations so it is important to keep your distance.
·      When students fail, parents look to blame the teacher.
·      Students who are frustrated take it out on their teacher.
·      Administrators see failing students as a symptom of an ineffective teacher.
·      Communities have negative feelings towards the education system.

Yet, there are many great reasons to get close to students. By getting close to students, I am investing in a relationship with them.

·      I can get close to my students without sacrificing my reputation. I always meet with them in an open place or around other adults.
·      Getting close to students enables them to trust me. By trusting me, they are more willing to take risks in order to learn.
·      Contacting parents on a regular basis will help me work together with them. This teamwork will help the student be more successful.
·      When frustrated students take their anger out on me, I will not take it personally and continue to offer support.
·      Having a plan of action to help students will ensure that administrators are kept in the loop.
·      Sharing my students’ successes with others and working with the community helps to build a better reputation for the educational system.

I believe I want to use my energy to invest in my students. I want to know their names, their likes and their dislikes, as well as their strengths and their weaknesses. I want to do all that I can to help them be successful. Isn’t that why I became a teacher? If I’m not willing to invest in my students then it is time to think about a different career.

Do you invest in your students? If so, what do you do? Please share.


Keri Chiasson said...

Hi Patricia!
I am a preschool teacher in a (private) daycare and I am in school to obtain my bachelor's degree so I can teach in a public school someday!
One of my classes had me search this blogger website and choose a blog that I enjoyed reading and write a paper about it. I really like your blogs! Your experiences in your classroom and the little tips you provide in education really inspire me and someday I will use these pointers in a classroom of my own. But while reading this particular blog, I have realized I might be doing some things wrong with my teachings.
I love each and every one of my students like they were my own children and as I was reading about "getting too close" with them I've realized I just might be. For example, I want to get close enough to them and form a relationship for them to respect me and listen to my words, I think I've created such a 'Fun, Loving Teacher Friendship" that when I do go to tell them they're doing something wrong, they don't really care because I feel so badly that I've spoke to them about their behaviors, that I go over and give them hugs, and everything I say goes right out the window. I feel like I need to be more of a educator to them, than a friend. I would love to be both, but in order to train myself for the public schools, maybe I should back off the "push-over" teacher attitude I'm giving off and stand some ground. haha Also what has helped me reading this blog is taking things personally. I take EVERYTHING personally. If a child is having a rough morning and is crying at drop-off, I automatically think I've done something wrong. If a child in my classroom is asking for my co-teacher, I feel really bad, like I'm not good enough for this student. I've talked to my co-teacher about this and she tells me that its nothing that I've done, its just their preference at that time of moment. After seeing that you cant take things personally, and you continue about your day makes me think, I should do the same thing. Why let it bother me? It's not the end of the world right?
After reading your blogs, I really feel like I can take your experiences and pointers and apply it to my future as an educator. Thank you for inspiring me!

I also want you to know, my assignment in no way made me comment on one of your blogs, I felt so strongly about your blogs I just needed to get out my thoughts to you. But I will add that to my paper! hehe Thanks for listening!

Pat Hensley said...

@Keri Thank you so much for leaving a comment! I think the most important thing we can do is learn from each other. Please let me know if there is a topic you would like me to talk about or you have a problem that we can work on togethe.