August 3, 2013


You need at least 6 7 minutes to watch and read this post.

Commitment to animals
I saw this video on Facebook shared by Deven Black  So cute that you have to watch it before reading the rest of this post.

Yes, you need to watch it now.

The first thought in my head was, "What commitment was given to this puppy! Do children get the same dedication and attention?
Sadly, I say NO! Many don't even get enough to complete one of this puppy's four 15 minute sessions in a day.

Commitment to our children
So, how do we as teachers give our students the attention they need?
Shouldn't we already know to do this? Do we do it?
If not, why not and don't give me the "there is no time!" excuse.

Let me expound a bit. I know of a little boy whose parents didn't play nor interact with him much. He talked a lot and that was the way he was engaged. Each parent had their own priorities and did their own thing when they wanted to. The little boy did play with his toys and with others at school but soon had a hard time fitting it and began making poor decisions. This moved to academic issues of not being on grade level and required a tutor to catch him up. Parents were not happy but knew something needed to change. That change had to start with them.

Does this sound familiar? I hope not, but if you are a teacher, it does.
Parents, take time to be with your children. Not just nearby, but be there with them. Get down and play with them. Participate in their games. Use silly voices like they do. Why? because it shows you really care about them and what they do. Continue to do this and they will respect you as they grow up. Be there for they and they will share everything (hopefully) with you.

Teachers, take the time to get to know every student. Yes, all +/-190 of them. It shows you care for them. 
"No significant learning can occur without a significant relationship." ~James Comer
This is so true and I know you have seen it. Make the effort to smile, give a kind word, eat with one student a day, or at least talk to them about something other than school. It will show you know they are there and you might know their name. They will remember you for it and will learn from you.
Part of my discipline plan is the relationship I have with students. Almost every morning, at the classroom door, I shook every student's hand and said Good Morning, how are you this morning?" I required a response other than "Fine", or "Okay", or "Good". They knew and know I cared for them. No idea how many possible behavior incidents I stopped by doing this. I also did it because I knew I had the first adult smile for them that morning. They still miss me and tell me so when they see me, years later.

Part of my professional development strategy is to connect with teachers before I try to show them anything new. I know they are overwhelmed or not interested but I wedge my foot in their door and try to squeeze into their world. It has worked well for many people and not worked for many others. But at least they all know I care for them and their professional progress.

"But one of the things that we never discuss or we rarely discuss is the value and importance of human connection . . . relationships.-educator Rita Pierson

We have to change this, today.
Make it a part of who you are and what you are known for. They won't remember the math lessons or the apps you shared. They will remember how you made them feel.

What will you do to make a difference in a life this school year?

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