|My 8th Grade Class Picture (Can you find me?)|
When I began teaching I had a clear understanding that I would be teaching students. What I didn't understand is that often times when we look at students we don't see them as people. Students become so many other things, but they are often not thought of as people. Here's a short list of how I perceived them:
- Test Scores
- Low Income
- High Income
- Middle Income
- Low Achiever
- High Achiever
- General Ed.
Because of these things I tried to read my students' impossible to read IEPs, which were supposed to be read and explained to me by the already over worked special ed. department. Then, I tried to talk to my students as if I understood the problems they were facing - but I didn't, and most of the time I still don't.
I wanted to change how I perceive my students, so here's a list of how I want to see them:
I'm no longer trying to pretend that I completely understand my students' problems, just like they don't completely understand mine. But, I do care that they have problems, and if there are ways that I can help with them, I'm there. We, as teachers, need to be teaching and PRACTICING empathy. What happens outside of our classrooms is, most of the time, completely out of our control, but it should not be ignored either.
I want my students to be people - as complete of people as possible. I can't do that if I treat them any other way.