Tuesday, February 08, 2011
When it comes to dealing with students, THEIR PERCEPTION IS OUR REALITY. Too often, we as teachers, forget that regardless of what our intent is, the only thing that really matters, is how our students perceive our intentions.
If we deal with a student harshly, they think we hate them. Rarely is that the actual case, but once a student decides their teachers hates them, the cycle becomes difficult to break. The student finds reasons to believe this hatred exists in even the most mundane of comments and actions. The more they are convinced of the hate, the more their own actions stir the pot. Reacting to this negativity, the teacher compounds the problem, reinforcing the student's belief.
If a student thinks the teacher doesn't have faith in their ability to be successful, the student becomes less likely to try, therefore, zeroing in on their own self-fullfilling prophecy. As the student's grades suffer, they are certain the teacher finds their ability less than par, and find more reasons to slack in the class.
On the other hand, if our students think we like them, think we have faith in them, think we enjoy our jobs and being with them, we set up a pattern of happiness and success in our classrooms. The more we project our enjoyment of being with our students, the more we show we believe in their potential, the more we expect from them, the harder they work to live up to those expectations. The harder they work, the more successful they become. The more successful they become, the happy we are with our jobs. The happier we, their teachers are, the happier our classrooms are. The happier our classrooms are, the more learning happens there.
Seems like a pretty easy win/win scenario doesn't it????