Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Develop a Sense of Belonging

Two female joggers on foggy Morro Strand State Beach In The Importance of Finding a Connection

from TutorFi by Meaghan Montrose, she gives some tips on how to help your child feel connected and develop a sense of belonging. I think this also applies to myself as a teacher which is important for keeping me energized and excited about teaching. Here are ways I would apply her tips to my own life as a teacher.

“1. Find an activity or group that suits your child.” I need to find an activity that I enjoy doing. This means that I might have to try a lot of different things until I find it but eventually something will appeal to me. This also means that I don’t have to stick with it for life and when I get bored with it, I can move on to something else. If it doesn’t suit me, it will be okay for me to say that I need to try something else and not feel guilty that I don’t want to do what is suggested or what I am currently trying. But I also have to try it long enough to give it an honest try and not give up when I am struggling at the beginning.

2. Make sure the activity or group is for your child, not for you.

I need to find something for me, not my husband or the family. Many times as a teacher, I am always looking to make sure that others have what they need and my needs are pushed to the back. I think most teachers are that way. Then we feel guilty if we try to do something just for ourselves. I think it is healthy to put our needs to the front once in awhile. It also helps from getting burned out or feeling used.

3. Be supportive.

Find a support system. It might mean finding others who enjoy doing the same thing. This can be a group in person or online. When I began knitting (which is my newest passion), I found a group that meets locally once a week. This was really great! Then I also found online friends from around the world who also offer support to me. This helps keep me going when I struggle with a problem and it is fun working it out with others.

I think these are great ways to feel connected and a sense of belonging. How can we show our students this if we don’t model the behaviors ourselves? By doing this, I think we are showing the students that they too can be successful in finding ways to meet their needs.

What do you think? Do you have any other tips to add to this? Please let me know. Thanks for stopping by and reading!

Original image: 'Two female joggers on foggy Morro Strand State Beach'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/72825507@N00/3539161615 by: Mike Baird

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