One of my favorite parts of summer is regrouping from the school year. Part of re-grouping is reading what other teachers have to say. As I've mentioned before one of my favorite blogs comes from Teacherscribe - Mr. Reynolds always provides great professional reading links and thoughts on becoming a better teacher. He pointed out this blog post recently and offered his own thoughts in another post.
George Courous prioritizes getting to know students as the number one way to becoming a master teacher. I agree. Over the weekend, I had been thinking about what makes an effective teacher. Courous listed "Knowing Students" as a number one priority. I think this means putting aside their test scores, what we know about their family, and what other teachers say.
We need to show an interest in who they are, and sometimes, this means knowing who they want to be. Who they want to be is much more important than who they are. We need to look at their potential. Who could they be if they had the right cheerleader? Who could they be if they had one person believing in them?
I'm one of those teachers who always cheers for the underdog. I get it - kids can do some rotten things to each other. Sometimes, we just need to point out that it was a poor choice and move on.
Kids need to know we know who they want to be. Kids need to know we want to help them be who they want to be.