How to Care for Yourself and Your Students

These two articles are very heavily linked to our modules from section 4. The first article “What I Wish My Professor Had Told Me” has ideas similar to a strategy mentioned in module 16, as teachers we need to recognize that we are emotional and imperfect beings. I really enjoyed this article because it changes my expectations for the classroom. I have to be ready to recognize that teaching is hard work, that being excited to educate kids isn’t enough, that there will be challenges involved, even if I love my job. We should be ready to accept that we can make a perfect lesson and that our students have to come before the content. It is evident that most educators in the US recognize that the best way to teach kids is to know them. Your students want you to be genuine, the harder you work for them the harder they will want to work for you. The last idea that I like is to keep class pictures. When you’re feeling down, stressed, insufficient, you just need to look back and remember how great it has all been, appreciate all the great students you’ve had. This whole article is acknowledging that the classroom has   a very human element to it.

The second article “Let Care Shine Through” is all about how to build these relationships with students, and how to understand different children. The main idea that draws me in this article is the quote “care is in the eye of the receiver.” You have to be able to show you care to each student, caring for your students is about understanding how to act when faced with different circumstances. Sometimes a teacher needs to show a student that failure in the classroom is important, but that it’s a safe place to fail. Other times you may need to let a student know that you believe that they can do something when they have given up. The last important element of this article is to be sure a student knows that you’re willing to make a risk for their education because you’re invested in their learning. The paper gives an example where a student says he doesn’t have a clean uniform, the teacher allows him to come to class regardless, because students need to know their learning has that kind of support.

I may idealize these concepts a bit much, but I really hope when I am in charge of my own classroom that I will be able to employ some of these strategies. I hope I can make my classroom a safe environment for kids by showing that I support and trust them, and that they feel comfortable enough to take on new challenges. I need to ready myself to work hard and be able to show my students how hard I am working for them.

This article expands on teacher-student relationship and explains methods on how to build them with individual kids.