As the new school year begins, we as educators feel a driving need to engage our students by almost any means necessary. We feel pressure to find new activities, establish a working relationship, meet common assessment requirements, continue our PD - the list goes on and on. By Christmas, this enthusiasm has likely faded, leaving behind educators that have fallen into a routine of lecture, assignment, assessment, and repeat.
While there is no doubt you are giving it your all, I want you to remember one important tip about your job: you are more than an educator – you are a resource. Whether students know it or not, they are looking for something from you. For many, they crave someone to believe in them. For others, they require someone to help them set a positive goal for the future.
You can instill a passion in students by expressing your own enthusiasm for what they can do. Help students in need set worthy goals, even if they are a little unrealistic. Show them what drive and perseverance can do. Be a resource for the children who feel like no one else believes in them. They are coming to you – voluntarily and involuntarily – and they need something.
I encourage you to communicate with your students on their own level. Don’t talk down to them or assume you know more about their lives than they do. In WhyTry, we call this “surrendering the one-up" relationship. It is key to building important relationships that will allow you to do your job better and to help your students feel like you have something valuable to offer them. You will learn what is important to them and be able to adapt your messages to their requirements. You will know what they need out of their time at school, especially if it is more than what a textbook can give them.