Be the One Who Makes School A Positive Memory
"Kids don't remember what teachers taught them, they remember how teachers treated them."
Earlier in the summer I was interviewing for a counseling position and the candidate made the comment: "Kids don't remember what teachers taught them, they remember how teachers treated them." This quote made me think. It made me reflect on my own past and how much I remembered about my teachers.
Reflecting on my own educational experiences and the teachers that I had, I can't remember specific details on what lessons were taught to me. I can however remember how teachers treated me and I can remember the details of some of those interactions.
Kindergarten: I had a teacher who was so much fun. I can remember her riding trikes alongside us and how she always had a huge smile.
1st Grade: My teacher shared her passion of reading with us and she had a unique sense of dental hygiene. I remember each day she would have us brush our teeth after lunch. It was her way of teaching some type of life skill.
2nd Grade: My teacher treated me amazing. She took the time to get to know me and she made me believe in myself. There were times that we were not in school that she invited students back onto campus for hang out times. Small groups of kids would get to come and connect with her, building strong relationships.
3rd-5th Grades: My teacher was my mom and I can remember the struggle we had going from mom to teacher and back again. The relationship was strained, which hurt the education. Relationships, relationships, and relationships are so crucial to see kids succeed.
6th-7th Grades: My teacher took a tough love approach and for any consequence would assign me writing the same sentence for 500 times. She demanded respect from her students, but did not always take the time to earn it.
8th Grade: I can remember that our teacher took the time at the beginning of the year to build a team of students that wanted to learn together. This created a classroom culture where students felt comfortable.
High School: There were many teachers that cared more about their content than they did about their students. Two teachers however that cared more about the people than the classroom were my photography teacher and my PE teacher. We spent time talking together and they established a relationship with me where I would do anything that was asked. They knew how to use relationships to build capacity in students to do different things.
The fact that I can look back and remember things about each of my teachers surprises me. The thing that doesn't surprise me is that I can remember the way they treated me and the ways they built relationships with me. I challenge you to reflect on your K-12 education and think if you remember what each teacher taught you or do you remember how they treated you?
BE THE ONE that establishes relationships with your students and remember they will always remember how you treated them.