I’m a teacher.
My husband is a teacher.
I was a student who loved and appreciated all of my teachers. Well, all but the one who made fun of my pigtails. Seriously, no joke, I had a teacher who would walk behind me and make fun of my pigtails.
What I remember most about each of those teachers is how they treated me.
How they believed in me.
How they encouraged me.
I’m a writer because my high school teacher Ms. Bailey encouraged my creative writing. My grammar was awful, but instead of focusing on my weakness, she applauded my creativity. If she had taken that red ink pen and slaughtered my creative writing essays with corrections, I would have walked away defeated. Instead she walked me through the grammar and cheered me on.
That made all the difference!
So when I read the article “What Students Remember Most About Teachers” by Lori Gard over at Huffington Post, I couldn’t agree more with her words. She says:
Because we want our students to think we’re the very best at what we do and we believe that this status of excellence is achieved merely by doing. But we forget- and often. Excellence is more readily attained by being.
I’m all about academic excellence and I don’t believe this article is undermining that end goal. It’s reminds us, on the other hand, to get back to why we got into teaching in the first place.
Why we put up with all of the drama day in and out.
Why we put in all the hours that we do.
Why you can look at the child that is driving you nuts and remember, “Those who are hardest to love, need it the most.”
Gard writes, “You see, kids can see through to the truth of the matter. And while the flashy stuff can entertain them for a while, it’s the steady constance of empathy that keeps them connected to us. It’s the relationships we build with them. It’s the time we invest. It’s all the little ways we stop and show concern. It’s the love we share with them: of learning. of life. And most importantly, of people.
And while we continually strive for excellence in our profession as these days of fiscal restraint and heavy top-down demands keep coming at us relentless and quick we need to stay the course for ourselves and for our students. Because it’s the human touch that really matters.
It’s you, their teacher, that really matters.
So go back to your class and really take a look.”
And I leave you with this quote from Carl Buechner, an American writer and theologian, “They may forget what you said but they will never forget how you made them feel.” To download this free printable go here.
Stop by my Facebook page and let me know what was your most inspirational teacher experience (as a student or teacher).
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