Our students come from diverse backgrounds and life stories. Sadly, some have experienced considerable trauma and turmoil in their young lives.
As teachers, our actions and words can have significant impact on our students. Sometimes we might be aware of our influence. Sometimes though, our discreetly shared lunch or our words of encouragement might affect a student in ways we don’t anticipate.
A simple example? When I was in high school, one of my teachers commented on my leadership skills and encouraged me to run for Senior Class President. I had not recognized these skills in myself and hadn’t even considered running for this position. A few months later, no one was more surprised than I was: I won the election. More important though, his words helped me to discover something in myself.
By recognizing (and pointing out) our students’ strengths, by accepting them for who they are, by celebrating their uniqueness, we may have more impact than we realize. We might spark a lifelong interest, help build resilience, inspire courage, or perhaps, provide the only positive comments in that student’s day.
Remember… “To the world you may be one person but to one person you may be the world.” Taylor Hanson