This question seems to have as easy an answer as does “Why did the chicken cross the road?” However, in reality, I agree with a statement by Nicholas A. Ferroni that was posted on the WE are TEACHERS Facebook site which stated “Students who are loved at home, come to school to learn, and students who aren’t, come to school to be loved.” Ask any teacher you know, and they can probably relate stories about students who come to school with so many needs that learning takes a back seat to the basics – security, food, and care. A famous quote by John Maxwell that I used in our original book – For Such A Time As This . . . We Are But Small Voices – goes as follows: “Students don’t really care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Every year that was proven true in my classes. The needs were great with some of them and homework was the least of their concerns while living in conditions that left them hungry for food and attention.
Somehow with all the emphasis on testing and the preparation for it, the realization that some students need so much more has been removed from the educational equation. Individualized instruction is just that – teaching based on the needs of each student. When a child or young person feels that they are valued – that someone cares – there just might be a reason to work hard and learn. That’s when the change can begin; one that leads to a brighter future. Isn’t that what education is meant to accomplish – to change lives for the better?
Sue – Voice I
“Students come to school for curriculum instruction and to learn,” is what most people would automatically say if asked that seemingly simple question. However, we all know that there can always be a lot more to think about behind any basic question, including why students come to school. Students will tell us that they come for a variety of reasons: to play sports, see friends, eat lunch or participate in P.E. or “Brain Bowl.” However most of us would agree that they will perform better and more enthusiastically when they have an internal drive to come to school because people love on them. They know when others genuinely care about them and have invested time in order to bond and build relationships to varying degrees with them. They may not even fully understand that it is the love and care they get and feel that motivates them to attend school day in and day out. They come whether love is given at home or not because they need to feel love from the environment where they currently spend the majority of their day. This is why educators must learn to love each child even when they don’t like the ways or behavior of that child. The adults in any school have one of the largest responsibilities given unto mankind. Individuals who teach and work around youth daily must feel an obligation to help make every child in his or her space or sphere of influence feel safe, respected, and accepted. So, whether you teach, preach, sweep, or serve, use this opportunity given to you to show some love.
Those of us who offer love and concern best can only do it from the God within us, and the best way for any of us to continue to do that is to draw strength and wisdom from that same ultimate Source. His eternal love should compel us all to live, work, play, and rest in excellence, all to the Glory of God.
Deidre – Voice I