There is nothing more important for a teacher than connecting with a child. Learning happens when children feel safe and loved. Therefore, there is nothing more important for a child than connecting with a teacher. Pete Springer says it beautifully.
One of the first pieces of advice I offer new teachers is never to lose focus on the universal lessons they want their students to learn. The primary role of educators is to teach academics, but that shouldn’t be a teacher’s sole concern. While gaining the ability to read, write, do math, and learn to be a critical thinker are crucial to students, equally important are the non-academic lessons.
If any educator is going to connect with their students, children must know that their teacher cares about them as people. How do we do that? By simply being human. I recommend pushing that math lesson aside for a few minutes when a student is hurting emotionally. Let them talk, cry, give them a pat on the back, high five, fist bump, or yes, even a hug when needed. Making time for students is worth…
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