If you read my previous post about my visit to Angela’s class, then you know it really was powerful and meaningful. As I was talking to the students individually, a student said this:
I have never had many good teachers. Most of them don’t care about me. They do their work and I do my work. We really don’t connect on meaningful level.
This statement really wacked me a good one. First, let me say that this is the student’s reality and it breaks my heart.
Second, my job allows me the freedom to visit teachers all over my district and I can see so many of them caring for their students and making meaningful connections. I watch videos of teachers reflecting and helping students connect with the learning.
Why the disconnect? I was going to blame the media hype that schools are full of bad uncaring teachers, but then I read this post from Tom Rademacher. He is exactly right. We do care. Unfortunately, students don’t see the hours of planning and grading we do. Students don’t see the late nights of worry. They only see the person right in front of them during the class period.
How can we let students know we care about them?
- Ask questions and listen.
- Remember things.
- Tell them.
As a teacher leader, I also need to remember those things as well. I care deeply about the teacher leaders I work with and would hate to think that they thought I didn’t care.