Monday, September 7, 2009

Getting to Know Your Students

Matthew Needleman at Creating Lifelong Learners wrote a recent post entitled Back to School Week- It’s a Marathon Not a Sprint.

He writes about how many teachers prepare “Getting to Know You” activities for the first few days/week of school.  He makes the point though that you will need to wait throughout the year, the long haul, to really truly “Get to Know” your students. 

And it is a life long journey.  Sometimes, you see your former students after many years.  You wonder what happened to that “cute little girl” or that “rambunctious little boy”?  You may see them “All Grown Up’” and can see glints of their former selves.  OR they are completely different.

Just remember, you have an influence on their life and you need to be sure that influence is a positive one. One that will help them become “All that they can be!”

A little extra time spent helping them, doing something special for them, making the lesson come alive to them, creating a love of learning can have a lasting effect on them, their self-esteem, and their future.

As Matthew concludes:

So, if you think you’re going to get to know your students during the first day, first week, or even first month of school, remember it’s a marathon and not a sprint and keep yourself open to getting to know who they are all year.  Knowing who they are helps you know how to reach them.  And the ones who are hardest to reach need you the most.

What will you do to get to know your students?

Will you remember them long after they leave your classroom? 

Will you recognize the Person they have become in later years?

What positive effect will they remember from your class?

[As always, in my author quotes, the underlines, color changes, and bold type is mine, not the author’s!]

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