Today, we gave our 141 students a brand new book. As a way to entice them away from the dreaded summer slide. As a way for them to relax. As a way to thank them. Thank them for all they gave us this year, for all that they brought to us. While we gave them just a book, there is so much more that we, as educators, can give our students every year.
We can give them our time. Always when they want it and sometimes when they don’t.
We can give them our respect. Always when they earn it and even when they don’t. Apologize when we need to and set high expectations for all.
We can give them our trust. Always when they prove it and sometimes when they don’t.
We can them give room to grow, to try, to not succeed at first and to stretch themselves into the bigger version that they hoped to be. Give them space to be challenged, let them in on the process, and then listen to them as they give us their feedback so that we can grow right alongside them.
We can give them our love. Even those who swear that they will never want to willfully be a part of our classroom, sometimes, we love them just a little bit more loudly.
And we can give them all the benefit of our doubt. A clean slate for the next class, for the next day, and for the new year. Sure, give us tips about the incoming students, but don’t tell us what they can’t do. Tell us what they can. Tell us how they have grown, their strength and what they are still working on. Don’t tell us, “Good luck…” or “Good riddance…”
We can give them our very best, even when it is hard, even when they are hard. Becuase didn’t we all become teachers to do just that? Be better than what we were before? What better way to prove it than to grow.
If you like what you read here, consider reading my newest book, Passionate Readers – The Art of Reaching and Engaging Every Child Also consider joining our book club study of it, kicking off June 17th. This book focuses on the five keys we can implement into any reading community to strengthen student reading experiences, even within the 45 minute English block. If you are looking for solutions and ideas for how to re-engage all of your students consider reading my very first book Passionate Learners – How to Engage and Empower Your Students. Also, if you are wondering where I will be in the coming year or would like to have me speak, please see this page.