Thursday, October 15, 2015

My Biggest Responsibility #EdChat

As a teacher, we are often asked about our biggest responsibility. It is something I think about whenever another new responsibility is added to the list. Recently, I really spent some time going over what the most important thing is for me in my job. The answer was pretty simple, but I wanted to share it here.

Letting each kid know they are important. This is it. I want every single student in my class to know they are a big deal. I want them to know they are more than a test number or a student ID.

A student last year was talking to me and they said something along the lines of, "I'm just dumb." I looked that student in the eyes and told them to never say that about yourself. You are awesome and you will figure this out eventually or you will not. That does not make you smart or dumb. The student smiled and gave the warmest thank you possible. Their eyes told me that nobody had ever told them that before. At least not in a while.

While some things are important, my students' well being is my biggest responsibility.

Not SAT/ACT testing data.

Not the new piece of technology that is going to "save" education.

Not the difference between verbal, dramatic, and situational irony.

Not the deep satire Twain uses in is masterful pieces.

Not the worksheet from ______ that is going to help the rote memorization of facts.

All of these things are meaningless to a student if they do not feel they are worth a damn in the classroom. If they feel loved, supported, and safe to learn, everything else falls into place. As teachers, we know this. If you do not win over their heart, you will never educate their mind.

Hugs and high fives,


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