A teacher’s heart speaks on the first day of school

My youngest has moved up into sixth grade. My how time flies. When I talked with him on Thursday about his week his first response was:

“I'm so happy. I think all my teachers seem to like me ok.”

Do students think you “like” them?

This seems odd but students really want to know if you like them. Are you going to be fair? Are you going to give them a chance?

They love you if you express an interest in something they love

Then, he said:

“I already have one teacher who loves me! I know it because she let me talk about Minecraft.”

This teacher had the kids do their coat of arms and on the coat of arms, they put things they enjoyed and liked. (I do Dave Burgess‘ Play dough activity from Teach Like a Pirate which does something similar.)

Under the pirate bandanas were small jars of play dough. I do an activity from Dave Burgess' book “Teach Like a Pirate” to get to know the students on the first day

But when we say “talk” – after asking his teacher, it was a passing mention. But it was enough to trigger a powerful positive response from my son.

When you fish, you try to predict the bait the fish will like. It is based upon what they like to eat anyway.

Sweet reminder from our PTO. It made me smile.

When you teach, you learn from the kids about what will hook them into your learning. Every child is different. (This is why genius hour projects are so fantastic– the hook is built in.)

Their like or dislike of your subject has a lot to do with their feelings about you

We're not teaching robots. We're working with humans. I've had students who say they aren't good with technology but have a good relationship with me and end up good with technology. It happens every year.

Every child won't “love me” but I can promise you I'm going to do my best to love every child. I won't necessarily be the popular teacher but I will be memorable and one they thank when they come back. We will laugh and we will have fun. Their eyes will open wide with surprise when they realize how much they've learned.

Back to School

It is the beginning of a new school year and a tough one for me (see my earlier posts) yet I believe in the first two days that my students know I'm interested in them and helping them reach their full potential. I've expressed an interest in their interests. I've shared with them how I teach and what I expect from them.

I hope they feel about me like my son feels about his fine teachers in sixth grade. I hope they are open minded, excited, and that deep down they feel liked and perhaps even they already feel the love I have for them. I don't fake it – I don't have to. It is how I feel and how most good teachers feel about their kids.

It is upon this feeling of mutual respect that we will build some powerful learning experiences. It is Saturday and except for my tiredness, I honestly wish it was Monday. (I actually wish it was Tuesday because that is when my air conditioner is fixed, but that, my dear friends is another story.)

A teacher's heart speaks on the first day of school

Back to school is always sweet
for the good, loving teachers you meet.
They stand at door with book in hand
welcoming kids to the learning land.

Hoping & planning that before they go,
more about this subject they'll know.
Giggling, talking, a happy sound
for a teacher whose purpose in life she's found.

This is a school and this is my time
to encourage, teach, and inspire the mind.
I am a teacher and I'll stick like glue
to learning & living until I reach you.

You precious children, I adore you all
As you sit in my classroom and traipse down the hall.
All will learn here to your own ability.
As we find talent, you'll find I'm quiet nobility.

I'm here to serve, I'm here to care
I'm here to help you learn to share.
I'm here to inspire, I'm here to reach
but most of all I'm here to teach!
Vicki Davis

Let's go!

 

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere