We all may have a lesson or two that students would buy a one time ticket for. The real class changing question is, Would you want to be a student in your classroom everyday? What are your students leaving your room with?
Students may forget what you say to them, but they will never forget how you made them feel.
As a first grader, I distinctly remember my teacher commenting to my mother that I didn’t enunciate my words like a normal black child does. Yes, she said this. My mother was understandably furious. It took me years to understand why as I was only 6. She made me feel that I was different. That was my first experience with that word…DIFFERENT.
As a fourth grader, I remember my teacher because her smile warmed my soul. I actually wrote this on my closet wall because I loved her so much. I was never a teacher pleaser until I landed in her class. She loved me just as she did every person in that room. She had a certain way of looking at students when they were wrong which would immediately end bad behavior. When you did well in her class or needed extra help, her demeanor never changed. Even when I misspelled the word halo in the school spelling bee…”h-a-y-l-o-w”, she didn’t change. She made me feel that I was smart. That was my first experience with that word…SMART.
As a teacher, I drew from the experiences of my childhood to frame my classroom. I made sure that all students, regardless of who they were felt included, smart and loved. I loved them enough to care that they learned. That is a powerful characteristic of any classroom…one that nurtures an environment of learning. No student should ever feel isolated or neglected. They should all feel that their voice matters…that THEY MATTER.
I would love to be a student in my classroom because my room embodied the spirit of all that I lacked as a student along with all that I experienced that was good. The goal should be that students leave our rooms feeling empowered to BE____think about it…
Empowered to BE________!