Sometimes our words to a child can make all the difference in their attitude and behavior. As teachers, we know that the old saying that “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” does not always hold true. Children take to heart the things we say and do. Take some time to let your children know how much they mean to you; it can make a huge impact on their lives.
Ways to Show How Much You Care
There is something about a handwritten note that means more than any typed letter or email ever could. The personal connection is stronger and the sentiment seems more heartfelt. Little notes, left in your child’s lunch bag or left on a student’s desk, can make the day a lot more special. It does not have to be fancy, but even just a note that says, “I am so glad you are in my class!” can create a special bond between teacher and student.
Have you ever overheard someone saying something nice about you? Well, when children overhear you praising and being thankful for them, they also get that warm, fuzzy feeling. Make it a point to talk about your students and children in only a positive way when they are within earshot. If they are going to overhear you talking about them, the comments should be positive ones that lift their spirits.
The last thing you might want to do on your lunch break is eat with your students, especially after a tough morning, but creating special time with them builds a bond. It may be tempting to invite only your top performers to eat lunch with you as an incentive for doing well on a test or paper. Instead, invite only two or three students at a time, and be sure to include even those children who you have a hard time warming up to. In reality, it is often those children who take up so much of our redirection efforts who need to feel connected and appreciated the most. You may quickly find that when you have created that bond, especially with challenging students, behavior management gets a little bit easier.
While it is true that gifts are another way to show someone appreciation, it can be argued that the greatest gifts you can give to your children are those of love, kindness, and acceptance. Some students may not get those gifts anywhere else other than your classroom. So, as you think about the upcoming holidays and gifts that you may get them, think about what you want your legacy to be with them when they move on to the next grade. You, as a teacher and parent, have the greatest gift of all to give to children. Show them how much you love and appreciate them, and they will remember you forever.