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It’s Better Because You’re Here

Mom and Chrissy
My Mom and My Sister

It took me while to understand that what I want to create in my classroom is the feeling my Mom gave me when I walked into the house.

I am so glad you’re here. Your presence will lift this space.

She didn’t just make me feel that way. My Mom made everyone who walked in the door know that their particular presence changed the whole vibe for the better. She had a way of making people feel like she saw their very best selves, and she hugged that self into the situation.

And that’s what I want to do with students.

I am so glad you’re here. Our classroom will be a better place since you have arrived.

The key here is in knowing what each student brings.

In order for people to trust that welcoming, they must feel noticed. They must know that you see their particular influence.

My Mom’s greatest gift to me and to so many others: notice people’s best selves, and have the confidence to recognize them aloud.

I am working on it. I have been working on it more since I recognized the work it takes and the difference it makes.

When you have time- a moment that the kids are taking a test, a moment when they’re reading, a moment when you can take your mind to their assets- notice the qualities of your students. Notice what makes them distinct- what each brings to the classroom. Take time to see it.

Then it’s time to fold in that appreciation. But, first notice. That’s the part that takes practice and work. That’s the part that will make all the difference to your students.

Pertinent Research:

Harvard Business School on the Importance of Knowing Your Students

Edutopia on Ideas for Getting to Know Your Students

An Educational Consultant’s View of the Importance of Knowing Your Students

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One Comment

  1. This is what makes you such a special person and teacher. You really connect with your students/peers and take time to value their voices. Such a great view on teaching as well as life.

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