We Teach Who We Are Pt 3 – Students
“The students we teach are larger than life and even more complex. To see them clearly and see them whole, and respond to them wisely in the moment, requires a fusion of Freud and Solomon that few of us achieve.”
Daunting tasks, so it seems. Caring for kids is synonymous with being a teacher. If we didn’t have a soft spot for youth – there are so many other jobs that would not require report cards, lesson planning, marking and some of the other “perks” that come with the job.
But caring isn’t enough. It isn’t enough to help us see past the hurtful insults hurled at one student from another because things aren’t good at home. It isn’t enough to give us insight and hindsight and all other forms of sight to know how to deal with behaviour issues in the classroom.
Caring. Caring is key. But from there is is a genuine willingness to see each student as an individual – a smorgasbord of personality, attitude, hormones, and so, so, so much potential.
Another thing that I have found to be helpful in dealing with the complexities that exist with students, is my willingness to be vulnerable myself (while maintaining professionalism). My students appreciate it when I admit my wrongs, when I apologize and admit when I don’t have all the answers or I really didn’t handle a situation like I would have wished. Asking for their forgiveness and another opportunity to try again, or to set expectations and consquences together… it goes a long way in building trust and a positive repore with my students.
And while all that is complex… it makes complexity #2 a little less so.
To read about complexity #3 – “We Teach Who We Are” read more…