Teacher Confession: I care if my students like me

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I love my students!  I LOVE them!  I care if my students like me or not.  I care a lot.  And I am honest about that with them.

When I first began teaching, the “right” thing to say was, “I don’t care if my students like me, but they will respect me.”  Here’s the deal, I never actually felt that way.  I said it, but it was a lie.  A big, fat lie.

When people heard I was teaching level 2 at the Senior High Level, I got many warnings about how the level 2 kids as juniors and seniors are not the same as the level 2 kids as freshmen and sophomores.  I was warned that they were unmotivated and did not care.  I’m only 2 weeks in, but I am here to tell you that that statement is FASLE.  Sure, many may not have aspirations to become fluent Spanish speakers or Spanish teachers, but they want to be successful.  At this point, many of them need to be successful to graduate on time.

I spent an ENTIRE week getting to know my students, letting them get to know me, showing them that I care about them.  I start each year ready to love my students.  To love every single one of them.  Not all of them come to my classroom with an open heart and mind.  Not all of them arrive ready to love me–and I know there are some who will take some time to trust me.  For many, life has already taught them that people disappoint us and they don’t want to risk caring in the chance they may get hurt.  I feel it is my job to be real, to be me.  Yes, there will still be issues, conflict, etc.  That’s part of life and perfection does not exist.  I simply have to make sure that I model how to appropriately handle conflict when it happens in my classroom and demonstrate that we can all choose to move on rather than dwell or hold a grudge.  So that’s why I start my year with a team building week.  I want it to be public knowledge that I genuinely care about my students and want them to succeed.  It is important that they know it and that I show it.

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Comments

  1. L-J, I love that you are willing to be so transparent about how you really feel. It is amazing how letting your students know how much you care, and how taking time to build trust makes a difference I student success.

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