Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Value of Listening to Students

"Continuous effort not strength or intelligence is the key to unlocking our potential." - Winston Churchill

At the end of the day whether they be my biological children or my students past and present I hope that life's challenges never become so great that they give up. Not every one is born strong, intelligent or beautiful but we can all strive for excellence. Sometimes I have to give kids credit just for having the strength to get up out of bed and get themselves to school. As educators, we never know what is going on at home. Do mom, dad, or their guardian have jobs, or do mom, dad, or the guardian work too much? Is someone critically ill or disabled in the family? Is there someone in the family with an addiction problem? Is there enough food, or even healthy food? Do they have clean clothes? We just never know.

I am lucky to be able to spend a little over six hours a day with my students. I always take the time to listen because this helps the child focus on his/her school work. Five minutes spent listening makes room for a full schedule for the rest of the day. When listened to, the child feels heard and cared for. Building trust takes a long time. Next week when school begins one of my biggest tasks will be to build trust in my students. Once my students feel validated and genuinely valued they can then learn. They can then focus on their academic work because they have reaffirmed that they are valued.
I'm looking forward to this school year because I will have the same students that I had last year. I cannot wait to see them! Let me tell you, my students are amazing! My students come to school knowing what is expected of them,knowing that they have a schedule, and there is a clear course of action. They know the class and school rules and the consequences for poor choices. They know that every wrong doing is given a consequence but as quickly as it happened it is forgotten. There are no grudges in my room, but there is forgiveness, and there are always second chances. I always want my students to know that they can count on me for consistency and a continuum of education.
So, all of this being said, the best thing I can give to my students is the work ethic to always strive for the best that they can do. Their personal best. I can not ask for more than this. May no my children never give up! They will then, learn the key to unlocking their true potential.

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