This week as I was reading some of the blogs in my Feedly feed, I was struck with three different blogs that spoke to me in different ways: Gone, his Love of Learning is Gone, Why so many Teachers don’t “get it” about Gifted Education, and What Students Remember Most about their Teachers. Each of these blogs has a theme. That over all theme is this: teachers can either be a positive force or a negative force in the life of a child.
Before I continue, I would suggest you read the previously mentioned impressive blog posts. The writers have a great sense about children, and education. After reading these blogs, I came to some of my own conclusions about the relationship between teachers and students. Teachers and parents need to be a PATCH for their children.
Positive. Teachers must be a positive force in our students lives. School should never be a place where are students dread to go. To make it more personal, students shouldn’t dread to come to your classroom. Teachers, including me, need to continue to do create lessons that are engaging and challenging. Not only should our classroom be a positive place, our demeanor should be as well. Don’t look down on students, or berate them. Lift them up, and help them see their strengths and view their weaknesses as a way to improve not as a negative.
Authentic. Teachers need to be authentic with students. I have mentioned before, I let my students know when I make mistakes, or feel I failed in some way. They need need to see that. Being your self, and letting students know you are real is important. I can remember when I was teaching 3rd grade, and I had a student ask me what I did at night at the school. It cracked me up, but I realized after that comment that I really didn’t talk much about my family life. After that I began to discuss some of my experiences with my children they may relate to.
Trusting. One aspect I have noticed about teachers when I was a regular education teacher, and as I am a current gifted education teacher is some doubt the giftedness of their students. Just because a gifted students doesn’t perform well in your class doesn’t mean that student has to prove their giftedness to you. If your gifted student isn’t performing up to par in your class you need to investigate. Trust their parents and intervention specialists to help you. Not all gifted students excel in all areas. That doesn’t mean they aren’t gifted.
Cheer. We need to support our students in the classroom and out. If our students are in sports go watch. If you students are in a spelling bee, or quiz bowl go see them. Students love to see their teachers at their events. Now I am not saying you have to go to everything. Many of us have our own children who are active in sports and academic activities. But do your best to see your students every now and then. I know first hand, they will love it.
Hew. As parents and teachers our job is hew the best possible student we can. We need to give them the best experiences we can in and out of the classroom. We need to let them experience 21st century experiences like ‘Mystery Skyping’ another class, or participate in a Google Hangout. Parents and teachers need to try to expose our children and students to as many real experiences like field trips and guest speakers as we can. By giving our students real and technological experiences we are shaping their view of the world. We are letting them see the world is bigger than the classroom, and their hometown. To hew a student teachers can’t do it alone. It has to be something that parents and teachers do together.
In conclusion, to be a PATCH you have to be active in your student’s academic life. It isn’t easy. What are going to be a PATCH for your students? How do you see it?