you want to review the past couple of weeks or are still searching for the time
to sit down and begin the powerful reflection, you can find the past posts at
the link below. http://matthewarend.blogspot.com/
As you recall, Chapter 4 of
"Closing the Attitude Gap" is Compassion for Students - Do I Care
I know it's been a couple of
weeks, so it may be time to look into your mirror and ask yourself the
following questions about your students:
1. Do they perceive that I care
2. Do they perceive that I like
them? 3. Do
they perceive that I appreciate them?
4. Do they perceive that I
5. Do they perceive that I
6. Do they perceive that I have
empathy toward them?
7. Do they perceive that I am
patient with them?
8. Do they perceive that I
treat them equally and fairly?
9. Do they perceive that i am
committed to them?
10. Do they perceive that I
As you will see as we work
through chapter 4, it is not about what YOU think! It is about the perception
YOUR students have about YOU!
Your Students That You Empathize with Them
is closely related with understanding. We can not simply ignore the life
challenges that many of our students face. These challenges affect their
ability to learn and to be successful in our classrooms, but more importantly,
their desire to even want to learn!
all sit down at the end of the day in our homes a bring with us he stories of
our students. They are with us 24/7. We cry when hearing some of them and
constantly wonder what can we do.
is a fine line between empathy and sympathy. We cannot and should not feel
sorry for any of our students. Sympathy is not going to help them maximize
their potential. Our students need us to understand, identify with, and relate
to them, not to feel sorry for them. They need us to know their plight, but
also to push them hard so they may successfully overcome it. They need us to
listen because they need to be heard. Hart and Kindle Hodson (2004) note,
"If we want our students to think for themselves, to be honest and
authentic, we need to be reflective, honest and authentic ourselves. If we want
our students to know that their thoughts and feelings matter to us, we will
take the time to listen to them and to consider their points of view."
bottom line, to get our students to reach their I imagined heights, we must
understands and empathize, but never sympathize.
Students That You're Patient with Them
today's times of high stakes testing (11 days away) there are enormous
pressures on teachers and students to perform. With these pressures, it's so
easy to lose sight of our fundamental purpose of education: to learn.
our students are going to perform well on standardized tests as well as strive
for excellence in all their educational endeavors, we must demonstrate patience
with them throughout the process. Students do not all learn alike, think alike,
or behave alike, it is vital that you appreciate their differences and
demonstrate patience with them all. Students will not achieve success at the
same time, and any failure to demonstrate patience can discourage those who
learn at a slower pace - and discouragement translates into low
Students That You Treat Them Equally and Fairly
you treat your students? Do you treat them equally? Do you treat them fairly?
How do your students perceive your treatment of them? You cannot get the most
out of your students if they perceive you treat them unequally or unfairly.
They want to be valued, feel appreciated, feel respected. When differential
treatment exists, resentment sets I among students, leading to unnecessary
tension in your room. Avoid this by taking action to ensure your students
perceive you as treating them all in a fair and equal manner.
Students That You're Committed to Them:
all is said and done, our students have to be convinced that we are committed
to their educational growth and development. They have to feel and perceive our
purpose for reporting to work everyday is to help them soar. They must know we
are there for them.
day when our students are gone and grown, what would they say if they were
specifically asked about you as their teacher? Would they articulate how much
you cared for them? Would they share how committed you were to them?
must demonstrate an obvious commitment to our students' overall educational
growth and development. We must consistently demonstrate to them that they
matter, that they are important, and that you will do whatever it takes to
ensure their success, no matter the challenges.
Students That You Don't Fear Them
you fear any of your students? Do they perceive that you fear them?
shared a story of him being a consultant and walking down the hallway with a
principal. On their walk a student was walking towards them with a hat on,
sagging pants, and was deeply engrossed in a cell phone conversation. As they
passed in the hallway, the principal said nothing. Kafele asked if he was
going to address it and the principal said the behavior was typical and too far
out of control to correct.
there were some culture and climate issues at this school and fear was in the
air. The principal was too afraid to address either the student on the phone or
the other students in the hallways.
can't motivate, educate, and empower students if we fear them. We can't
transform attitudes if we fear them, either. Once student perceive teachers
fear them, making positive connections becomes virtually impossible. You cannot
fear any student in your classroom. Demonstrating a fear of your students
completely undermines authority as the teacher and renders us incapable of
closing the attitude gap. From day one, we must establish authority as the
teacher. You can't effectively teach and inspire if you are not perceived as
the respected authority figure in your classroom.
At this point we are more than half way through Closing the
Attitude Gap. I sincerely hope you have or will find the time to reflect or
begin the process. This is real and applicable to our daily work at Sigler.
It's the foundation of what we do and without being together as one, our
foundation will not be as strong as it needs to be. Let's work on strengthening
our foundation and finishing these final nine weeks strong, building momentum
for our students Bright Future.