Tonight I went to our community’s “meet the lions” night, an event where all fall athletes are announced to the crowd one by one. It is their night to shine! My niece, a junior now, is a varsity cheerleader and several of my boys (former students) are varsity football players. Seeing these kids in their “super star” element was so refreshing especially as children clamored around for photo ops with their football heroes…the same kids who made Geometry an adventure in lieu of another boring requirement.
As the event took form, I found myself looking around for glimpses of their teachers. I saw exactly one who wasn’t a coach or a coach’s wife…required attendees. I cannot think of another moment that would have been more perfect for starting the relationship building process. Teachers should have been there…end of story.
As I found each of my former students during the event, their eyes lit with excitement as they ran for hugs. They want to know that we care and BEING THERE is an action greater than any words that we could possibly speak!
As you get your class roles and learn of your students’ interests…plan some family time going to events.
- Find your students when you are there and tell them…”well done”.
- Take pictures and post them in class or social media with the school hashtag if allowed.
- Use their live data in lessons…especially math!
- Make a big deal about their performance.
- Cheer them on! (signage is fun too)
Moments such as this are what I like to refer to as “no-brainers”. There are things that teachers can do that should not require a mandate. My students became a part of me when I was lucky enough to have them in my class. They knew it from day one.
My care and support of them was reaffirmed when they could look into the crowd, at least once and see my face. That small action, a pinch of time, was more proof to them that they mattered!