Maya Angelou said it best above. Managing ourselves during times of stress can be challenging. What we say to students, how we say it and how it makes students feel is crucial for a safe learning environment. Students know what makes them feel good about themselves and what makes them feel successful. When I asked my students what makes them feel good here’s what they said:
- Smile when you see me.
- Call me by my name.
- Listen to me when I talk.
- Don’t make assumptions about me, ask me questions.
- Let me know that you missed me when I was absent.
- Recognize my own special talents even if they don’t show up on my report card.
- Give me a chance to succeed in at least one way each day.
- Praise me when I do something well.
- If you do not like something I do, please help me understand that you still like me as a person.
- Respect me even if I still struggle to respect others and myself. I’m still learning.
- Show me that I have a lot of options for the future, and that I can set my own goals.
- Insist I aim high. Always. Even when I don’t want to.
Ask your students what motivates them. Try to reach a young person with these self-esteem builders every day. High self-esteem builds stronger people and stronger communities. Remember, students experiencing success, even if small, is key to motivation. Motivation is key to learning.
TRY THIS ICE BREAKER AND GET SOME STUDENT VOICE ON THE WALLS
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