How to Care for Students

I found this on The Canadian Cave of Cool and immediately thought about how it could be applied to the classroom.

So let’s just rewrite these 12 rules for teaching students.

1) Respect their need for privacy. 

I don’t think we need to see everything that our students write. We could encourage them to write whatever they want and to even keep a personal journal in the classroom. Not all of their writing can be private though. As teachers we need to evaluate their writing, just not all their writing. We can allow students to chose what they will share with us.

2) Never Embarrass Them in Public

Instead of berating students in public, we can take them aside and speak to them personally. I tell my students during the first week of school that if I am talking to a student, they are to respect that and not try to overhear what is being said, or talk about it with the student afterwards.

3) Let Them Observe First in New Situations

It’s important that we model and even allow other students to model certain tasks and ways of doing things. Everyone can use an example before jumping headlong into space.

4) Give Them Time to Think, Don’t Demand Instant Answers

We can do this by asking a question of the class, letting the students talk with their neighbours about it, calling attention back, and then asking for someone to share. It’s a simple strategy but one that definitely has merit.

5) Don’t Interrupt Them

Our students deserve to be heard. We might not always have time for it during a lesson but we should make time to ensure that each student has a voice within our classrooms.

6) Give Them Advance Notice – 7) Give Notices of Time Left

I do this all the time. I post up the weekly timetable by the classroom door. I also write the schedule for the day on the board every morning. When the students are working, I give them a two-minute warning before we pack up and move on to the next task.

8) Reprimand Them Privately

Singling out students is never a good idea. Do it privately whenever possible.

9) Teach Them New Skills Privately

This is a tough one for the classroom teacher. We don’t have time to instruct students individually. We just don’t. But we can do it occasionally for students who really need it. We can also use small group instruction whenever possible.

10) Enable Them to Find One Best Friend

You can do this for students who really need it by working with another teacher from a different class to set up a mentor / study buddy. It takes some coordination but can really pay off in the long run.

11) Don’t Push Them to Make Lots of Friends

I think it is important to have our students work with a variety of partners and to experience working with different members of their classroom and student body. However, some students will want to work independently and keep to themselves more often than not. And for the most part, we don’t need to see that as a problem we need to fix as teachers.

12) Respect Their Introversion

We need to respect the quirks and character traits of all our students. We can enocuarge them to learn and try new experiences but we don’t need to “fix” who they are.

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2 responses to “How to Care for Students”

  1. Hi Chase .. well converted for your students .. always good to reread our classroom 'commandments' ie how we can give them a base from which to go forward ..

    Cheers Hilary

  2. Hi Hilary,

    It really is a good exercise for teachers. Perhaps, we should be rewriting our classroom rules every year for each specific class.

    I like how this one really gets at how we should be treating our students with respect and care.