Thursday, March 19, 2020

Look Closely

“Too often, we take what we are offered at face value. The zoom setting is determined by someone else, and in our rush to get onto the next thing, we fail to discover what is going on within.”

Sometimes teachers get busy with school and personal life that we stop looking at our students more closely.

I find it is very important to greet each student at the door. I require that they make eye contact with me and say hello. How they greet me tells me a lot about their mood and attitude for the day. Those that have difficulty making eye contact have something going on in their lives that may affect their performance. Those that have no trouble and are quick to tell me about their morning will be okay today but tomorrow they may be different.

When I have a student disrupting the class or not doing the assignment, I need to look closely as to why the student is avoiding the work. Maybe the student is not prepared with the proper tools such as paper, pencil, or pen. Maybe the student doesn’t understand the directions and doesn’t want to ask for help for fear of looking stupid. Maybe the student is afraid of failure so by not doing the work, there won’t be a possible failure.

If the student has some personal problems outside the classroom, maybe I can talk to the student and show support. This little support may be helpful and encourage the student to hand in there and face whatever is going on. Maybe by talking about the problem, it can help the problem from becoming overwhelming.

If the students are misbehaving and getting on my nerves, maybe I need to look at myself more closely. Am I in a bad mood and why am I in a bad mood? Students are quick to pick up on things like this and their behavior may be a reflection of my own attitude. It may be good to explain to my students that I’m having a bad day and apologize if I’m sharp with them because I don’t mean to be this way. Many students respect that I can share this and apologize for my own behavior. This is also a good modeling example for them when they feel the same way.

In what ways do you look at your students more closely? Please share.

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