When Students Doubt That Their Teachers Care


When I talk about my math classroom, I always cross post to facebook because my audience on facebook is quite different than twitter. That is where my former students are and when I post there, they get to relive our classroom too. At times, they will even comment…suggesting that I return back to school. On occasion, they talk about the lack of caring of some of their teachers. When that happens, there is almost always a fallout of sorts as well as an explanation of the “back ended” things of EDU by other  teachers.

When I read those “but…but…but” statements from teachers, I am always reminded about the quote above that my mother says often and also about Disney World.

Disney World is such a magical place, but there is also a “behind the scenes”, the dusty crates, tools, characters out of costume…etc. No one gets to see the “behind the scenes part”. Yet…we know that it is there. It has to be.

We know that in EDU, so many problems take away from the great things that happen in classrooms. We have test that we have to give. We have meetings to attend and that includes meetings to plan other meetings. We have accommodations, interventions, mandates and all types of acronyms that defy all logic but we have something else that has to come before that…STUDENTS.

When a student feels that their teachers do not care, we can’t explain it or “teacher-splain” it away with…”I had meetings, madates, a test, interventions, no paper, blah blah blah…” We have to listen and we have to adjust. I’m not saying that we have to hide our laundry because it’s there whether we like it or not. However, a student should NEVER feel that their teacher does not care and we should never explain our actions by telling them about “the things that cause us not to care”.

The thing that we have to do is be open to how kids feel.  What students should feel is cared for, motivated, challenged and supported. They should feel that they have a choice in becoming whoever it is that they become. We cannot get upset when they do not feel those things. We cannot go into “explain mode” when they do not feel that we care. What we have to do is look at ourselves and change our approach in order to address how they feel.

Personally, I am more concerned with this reply…

I know they do (teachers care) but sometimes it really just doesn’t seem like it. And I’m so glad that this is my last year, I’m ready for a broader horizon and I’ll get to choose what I do and where my next step will be. I will finally be able to become the person that I wanna be!

Maybe I am missing something…but shouldn’t the things that this student wants be the purpose of schooling to begin with?

Also, see the video of the late great Dr. Rita Pierson if there is any doubt…

Comments 1

  1. Amazing post Rafranz, I think the relationship you have established with your students shows because they still seek you out and want your advice and perspective! The best quote from the post for me was that students should “feel cared for, motivated, challenged and supported” and if we can meet those goals as educators the rest will follow for sure. Thank you for sharing, the video by Dr. Pierson really sums it up! I hope somehow, someday to have an impact on kids’ lives in just a fraction of the way that she did.

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