Wednesday, October 30, 2019

I Want You to Like Me

Recently I heard a discussion about how people do things just so someone else will like them. Many children and teenagers fall into this trip. Adults who have a low self-concept may do this often also.

Sometimes people will do something to impress another person, even when they know their actions is not right. Teens may commit a crime to impress their peers.

I also need to recognize that these students may act the same way to impress a teacher. They may try to be the teacher’s pet in order to gain favor from the teacher.

I need to make sure that all of my students feel respected and liked. I shouldn’t expect my students to act a certain way in order for me to like them or help them.

I try to make it clear to all of the students when I first meet them that I know nothing about their past and will not judge them. They will start in my classroom with a clean slate.

Now, if they get in trouble for misbehavior, they will have to pay the consequences, but they will do so in order to learn how to act appropriately. Nothing they can do will make me not like them or cause me to like them less.

It is important for students to feel this unconditional acceptance in order to succeed in the classroom. The students have to face this fear of being unaccepted by their peers and sometimes with their families. The classroom should be a safe place for them. If they aren’t having to worry about acceptance, they can focus on learning whether it is learning academic subjects or learning appropriate behavior.

This feeling of acceptance won’t happen overnight. I need to repeat this acceptance over and over in the classroom to my students. Not only do I need to say the words that they need to hear, but my actions need to reflect what I’m saying to them. I need to believe in what I’m saying as well as my students. Students can detect insincerity very easily.

Photo by Beth Rufener on Unsplash

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