2 Ways To Be A Pushover & A Kind Teacher
Many of us work very hard to make a lasting impression on someone. Whether that’s our boss, or coworkers, or parents. But, as a college student, I remember how incredibly important it was to people that I did something to know they liked me. I would sit in crowded lectures and make eye contact with someone I didn’t know and I would assure them I understood what they were saying and that they could trust me. After all, I was a person with a purpose. I was someone with an academic identity. And, I was able to offer them something they didn’t know: that I would be the first in my family to attend college. The experience of wearing that purpose on my sleeve, I found, was very memorable and quite good for my confidence. Here are two of my favorite ways to help children feel they are a force in their schools and, in turn, do something to feel like an influence in their school:
Show Your Kindness
I am not naïve enough to believe all kids think that they are really kind. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. I get emails, texts, and phone calls asking me to give a minute of my time to address how important it is for all students to be aware of how they are the source of kindness to others. Of course, it is wonderful to try to be kind to others and to you can do something small, like reflecting on people’s stories or offering a kind word. However, you might be surprised at how you might be able to affect the students within your classrooms more than you realize.
For example, let’s say there is an intellectual discussion in class and you are really going to be giving it your all. Perhaps it is the Horsie Project Day. Perhaps you want to go so hard and you see an out of place student in the corner of the room huddled on the floor looking like a dog eating feces. After the lecturer finishes her lecture, it is usually over and now it is student-teacher time. Well, this student can now feel disrespected. Not only is the other student deserving of a kind word, but you and the teacher might be giving one to the students in your class and this might create some trust between your two groups. So now it is time to demonstrate your kindness again. Take a step back from your talking and smile at the student sitting by herself. Your presence will make their day (and the student’s day).
Write a Letter to Your Class
I was listening to your professors when I heard an old advice that has stuck with me: Write a letter to your class. This can be an easy step that you could take in order to be a part of the student’s story, of serving as a model and, finally, as a reminder to return back to their discussion. My professors assigned me to sit at the front of their classes as we talked. Seeing me there I actually stopped and looked around for the student who looked like a puppy and cuddled up to me and let me hold her. He or she was a new student to the class and I wanted to ask them if they had heard this lecture before. But, of course, I was allowed to ask and that initiated a conversation I would remember for the rest of my life. The experience taught me an invaluable lesson in how the little things in life can have a big impact. While it can feel impersonal and mysterious, writing a note and holding someone’s hand (in a loving way) is something you can learn.