A fellow educator recently asked if i had a suggestion for one small thing a teacher could make that would have a big impact down the road. I had two:
- Treat your students “as if.” As if they are capable. As if they are trying to do the right thing. As if they are nice and kind. As if they are bright. As if they are likable and lovable. As if they are worthy of your every effort to support their success in school. The irony is that the more you treat them “as if” the more they act “as if.
- Spend less time thinking about why students should learn your content and more time wondering why would they want to. This is NOT a suggestion that students should only learn what they want to, but rather how might we spark curiosity, wonder, and interest in the content we’re working with them to learn (especially if we think they SHOULD learn our content!).