When students are respected and cared about with no strings attached, they know they can count on that caring. No matter if they follow all the rules all the time. No matter what their grades are. No matter if they win or lose the game. No matter how they look. No matter what they can or cannot do.
What does respect and caring with no strings attached look like?
Respecting and caring about your students just because they are your students, alive, and deserving of care and respect.
Teaching your students skills they need to become independent and get along in the world.
Having high expectations of your students, so they can learn to be sure of themselves and hopeful about their future.
Teaching your students how to make up for their mistakes, so they know they will always be respected and cared about. Teaching them to do more than just say they are sorry. Teaching them how to do something to take care of any person they hurt.
Saying no in a straightforward way when you need to. Making sure your discipline is about protecting and teaching your students rather than punishing them.
What strings attached should be avoided?
Giving too much time, attention, and power. Danger: Students can become rulers of the classroom and allowed to make decisions that adults should be making.
Providing too much stuff. Danger: Students are never satisfied and don’t really know how to enjoy what they have.
Requiring too few rules. Danger: Students don’t learn how to get along in the world and stay out of trouble.
Not insisting on consequences for bad behavior. Danger: Students expect to be let off the hook and don’t learn responsibility.
Protecting from sadness and disappointment Danger: Students don’t learn to deal with difficult feelings.
Giving too many “yeses” and privileges. Danger: Students are never sure they are safe and are worried about whether there will always be someone to protect them from the consequences of their mistakes.
Teachers, you can use this blog in classrooms. Here are two ideas about how.
- For middle or high school parenting or child development courses:
- Use the blog for discussion topics
- Require students to research the topics and agree or disagree with what the blog is suggesting.
- For all courses, especially English Language Arts:
- Use the blog for writing prompts for paragraphs, theme papers, journal entries, class starters, etc. Have students read the blog and respond to:
- Do you agree with what is being said about kids? Do kids really act, think or feel that way?
- Do you agree with what is being said about parents, grandparents, teachers and child caregivers? Do or should they act, think or feel that way?
- What would be your advice on this topic?
- What was left out of this article?
- If you were a parent, would you use any of this information? How?
Why can this blog be a useful teaching tool?
- Students that see connections between their coursework and their lives do better in school.
- Most students will either be parents one day or have children in their lives that they care about, so the topical information can help them build their knowledge about children and parenting and develop a positive image of the type of parenting they want to do.
- The new core literacy standards adopted by most states call for frequent writing in all courses.
- Newly developed end-of-course assessments to be used by many states will require that students demonstrate that they can think critically. These prompts help students practice critical thinking.
- Newly developed end-of-course assessments to be used by many states will require that students demonstrate that they can analyze what they read. These prompts help students practice analysis.