You can’t fake love … students can sense insincerity

This week there was a twitter feed in which @RafranzDavis said, “There are certain characteristics that teachers need that can’t be taught. You either have it or you don’t. Love kids or leave”. My response was, “and not just the ones who are easy to love”.

As teachers we can help our students feel welcomed and appreciated or shunned and disliked. Too many times I have seen teachers take a dislike to a certain student and pick them up on every little thing. Then they wonder why this student has anger management problems. Other teachers will talk about students in a disparaging way to other staff members, whispering and casting furtive glances at the victim. The students know. Even if they cannot hear what is being said they pick up on it.

The students are not at our schools by their own choice. They have been given into our care by their parents who trust us to treat their children with love and respect. They expect us to do everything in our power to help their children to learn.

Not all students are easy to teach. Many come to school feeling angry or frustrated by things at home and feel the need to take it out on someone else. If they can make someone else angry they feel that they have lightened their burden and unloaded some of that suitcase of anger that they have carried with them to school. These are the ones that need our love and understanding the most. They need to feel wanted, useful and a little bit important.

If we are not able to build genuine relationships with our students then we will not be able to reach them to teach them. They need to know that we really care about who they are, how they are and that we believe that they are able to achieve in some area to the best of their ability. If we do then we can concur with @HalLRoberts when he said”Interestingly I found the ‘troubled’ kids were the ones I built the relationships with more easily.Why? Because they are the ones who crave friendship, approval from someone that wants the best for them because they really do care about them.

If you are faking it … they will smell a rat and will not give you the time of day and they will not want to do a thing you ask because they will not care if they are pleasing you or not. If you show them no respect they will show none in return.

I try to put myself in the shoes of the students I am teaching. I try to listen with their ears to how I am speaking to them. I see them open up and smile when I laugh with them. I see them bloom with pride when I love what they are doing. My best classes are those in which I am just myself and I allow the students to be themselves as well. We accept one another and we are comfortable enough to learn together.

I am a teacher … I must never stop loving  if I do, I had better stop teaching

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