Before teaching at the school I currently teach at, I was at a few others. I had lots of experience observing in many different schools, in different classrooms, in different cities. I worked in different schools as a teacher and as an aide. I have never seen an environment quite like that of my classroom. I don’t know if it’s because it’s a Catholic school, or because of the small class sizes (only one of each grade), but the kids care about each other and it shows.
I’m not saying they all get along and never fight. Of course there is some teasing and arguing. Overall there is a genuine care and concern for others in my classroom. They pray for each other, encourage each other, and really act like members of a family. They applaud each other for good grades and behavior, they encourage students who seem to be struggling, they hug each other if someone is crying. When my lower performing students do well they all make that student feel so proud that their faces just beam. It’s by far my favorite part of being a teacher.
I’m not sure what causes my students to be this way, but it certainly has taught me to be more patient and more kind. It’s taught me to praise more and get frustrated less. It’s taught me to really encourage those who are struggling and show that I love all of them. I tell them often that I care about them and feel as though they are my own children. I let them know when they are in my care, I am responsible for them and it’s my job to keep them happy, secure, and safe.
So the point of this post is to encourage your students and praise them often. Maybe your students will pick up on this and become like you. It’s a great thing to see and really helps me become a better teacher.