A teacher is influential in so many ways. In fact, many teachers became teachers because of an educator that helped them learn. Oftentimes these magic moments happen off the clock- in the hallway, at recess, in the lunchroom, etc. However, due to the heavy requirements of educators today these moments are few and far between.
I used to think that my biggest impact on students would come from my fantastically well-planned, motivating, and engaging lessons. I wanted learning to be easy for students and I wanted them to fall in love with dreaming bigger for themselves.
Oh, how wrong I was.
When I stopped to just talk to kids they began to blossom. I wish it didn’t take me half my career in the classroom to wake up and carve out time to just BE with kids. I learned so much about them during these moments and it helped me prepare stronger lessons tailored to their interests and needs.
The bond between teacher-student can make or break a child’s self concept. Every child deserves to have someone take the time to just talk… talk about nothing at all because those moments speak volumes to a child. It’s not the words you are exchanging, but its the value of your time and attention. You are teaching the child their worth- they are worth your time (with eye contact during the one-on-one conversation).
Educators, make a point to connect personally with your students. Its going to be hard logistically and potentially hard due to personality differences or past incidences, but the best way to pour into your kiddos is to build a relationship with them. It will stand the test of time.
For me, I printed off a blank student roster and would check off student names whom I had a personal interaction with that day. It kept me aware of who I continued to talk to and who I needed to make time for. The kids didn’t know it, but:
Make 2017 the year you move beyond the curriculum, put down your guard and start engaging with kids in all moments throughout the school day. These seemingly insignificant exchanges are what propel students to achieve their potential. Be part of their journey to their best self!
How do you move beyond the curriculum?