Let’s Make Connections Happen
How come a group can be fantastic or awful according to different teachers? How come what seems like an amazing group turns out to be the complete opposite the following year? When I say “amazing” it doesn’t mean a room packed with straight-A students. I mean a group of fantastic kids. Of course there might be “difficult cases” and “shy kids” in the group. Those are the kids that need us most. Those are just desperate kids crying out for help.
I have seen awesome groups full of hardworking and eager to learn children and then after a year, I heard teachers referring to that same group as a difficult one; full of struggling students that were unwilling to work and take part in class activities. Kids can’t change that much in one year. And I wonder whether there ever was a strong connection between teachers and students in those situations since I feel that the connection with students will definitely seal the fate of a group. We, as teachers, have a choice on whether to try to connect with our students or not. That choice will definitely affect our class learning environment.
A teacher’s attitude towards students is powerfully important. If we believe in our students, if we work hard to connect, we’ll get the best from them. I feel that my duty is to bring out the best in every kid. I don’t think the best in every kid means outstanding marks on their tests. When I say “bring out the best in every kid,” I mean that we should encourage their love for learning and their willingness to be better.
When a teacher doesn’t connect with students, it’s almost impossible to create a positive learning environment. What is more, a negative learning environment just leads to unmotivated and scared students. How can you encourage the love for learning this way?
If we want to build a better future for our students, we need to motivate them and make them feel safe. It’s our responsibility to see the beauty in every kid and help them flourish. We can’t just give up. Of course the journey can be difficult at times. It’s even possible that we don’t get to see the results right away. We must never forget that growing up is a process. Adults aren’t always able to make changes right away, why should we expect that from our students?
We might have shy students, but we are the lucky ones that get the chance to help them gain confidence. We might have “difficult cases’ but we have the privilege of helping them believe in themselves. We are the ones that can encourage them to try hard. Teachers build up their groups; teachers encourage the love for learning. It doesn’t come with every kid; we ought to foster that.
Let’s reach out for our students. Let’s help them realize they are not shy or difficult or struggling kids. We need to make them aware that they are exceptional kids who are simply growing up. Let’s help them believe in themselves by showing them that if they try hard they’ll be able to meet their goals. Let’s be there alongside cheering on every step they make no matter how long it takes.