Kindness pays off

Discussion in 'General Education' started by catnfiddle, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Sep 15, 2011

    Since we were discussing in another thread how terrible it is to berate and beat down students, I wanted to start another thread about when you have used positive words with your students.

    Much of contact with my students is through school email. This morning, I received one from a student who has apologized for not attending my live online lectures, telling me that she is newly married with a baby, so her time is terribly short. She didn't want me to think badly of her. I checked her grades and found that she has excellent grades and wrote back to reinforce this. I said, "The fact that you are an A student and a full time mom shows that you are dedicated to finishing high school."

    Her response? Apparently nobody in her family thinks that she will graduate because of the position she faces. "It just finally feels good to have someone tell me that is shows I'm dedicated to finishing just means a lot. Thank you!!"

    This young woman is definitely going to finish my class because she knows I have faith in her.

    Who has another story of how saying something positive to a student has made all the difference?
     
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  3. Elocin

    Elocin Comrade

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    Sep 15, 2011

    I have student who is known for behavior issues. He is not mean-spirited, just a class clown who always has a well-timed remark or action that manages to completely derail the class while he sits back all, "I was just sayin'".

    Well, this year he has turned over a new leaf and been amazing! Working hard, participating, keeping his comments to himself (mostly LOL). I told him this and how proud I was of him. I meant it but honestly, I didn't gush or anything. It was a simple "Hey, you're working really hard. I notice it and am impressed!"

    His mom called me and told me he came home and wrapped his arms around her, crying, saying he finally knew how it felt to be one of the "good kids" and he wish he had known what a great feeling it was earlier.
     
  4. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    Sep 15, 2011

    Oh, these are both really inspiring, thanks for sharing.
     
  5. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

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    Sep 15, 2011

    Here's a simple statement from a student: "You believe in us more than we believe in ourselves." Yes, it is true!
     
  6. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Sep 15, 2011

    There's a FB thread for my high school alum about who were our favorite teachers. One of the alum from over 30 years ago wrote, "Mr S., you were the favorite. You saw something in me that I didn't see in myself." Mr. S is my dad (he's also an alum and probably read that). It brought some proud tears to my eyes to read such praise.
     
  7. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Sep 16, 2011

    From one of my students a few years ago: "You made me who I am because you never gave up on me."
     
  8. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I have an example as the student and it is something I carry with me as a teacher.

    I was a super good kid in school. Goody two shoes. But my senior year, I had the most obnoxious chem lab partner, we'll call him Johnny. I really hated this kid. He was just a snotty little p****. He was in school when we set up the lab, but then was absent for several days, and I had to do everything myself. I was just finishing up the lab report when he came back. The ONLY thing he contributed to this project was, when my back was turned, he changed the order of our names on the assignment, so his was first. I was so frustrated that I had done all the work and he would do that - I went to change it and we got in a little tiff over the laptop, which escalated to me grabbing his hand really hard and him pulling his hand away really fast and slamming his elbow into the cabinet above us. This is when the teacher saw us and yelled at us to get out of the lab and sit in the classroom immediately.

    I was horrified. I had barely had a detention all through high school and now I did something stupid like horse around in the chem lab, which is an automatic suspension. I knew I was going to get in BIG trouble. But the teacher just came over to me and said "I don't understand how someone who gets along with everyone can't get along with Johnny." I just remember thinking she was going to come down hard on me, and instead she complimented me. It calmed me down instantly and I just always remember that technique of coming at discipline in a "You are a good person and I want you to improve" way instead of a "You are a horrible person and I can't believe you did this" way.
     
  9. PB&J

    PB&J Rookie

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    Sep 16, 2011

    Years ago I had a student (pre-k level at that time) who had been diagnosed with PDD-NOS. While working within his IEP, I didn't make a big deal about his issues, and tried to come up with games (physical activity was hard for him) and other activities that played to his strength while still challenging the other kids in the room.

    At the end of the year his mom wrote me the most beautiful letter and said she was so glad he had been put in my room where he could be "just one of the guys" and not the "autistic kid".
     
  10. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    Sep 17, 2011

    I could say that I was that student whose family didn't even wanted her to go to school. I didn't have a kid when I was in high school but I surely wasn't expected to go beyond middle school. All that kept me going was the faith teachers had in me and their encouragement. At the end of high school when things were going really bad at home because I was going to be kicked out of my house at 18, my math teacher encouraged me to go further and he believed in me much more than I did. I will never forget his encouragement that still today stays with me.

    Many times the encourament students get at school is the only one they get so lets give a lot of it to our students.
     

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