Principals who desire to improve their schools, and teachers who want to improve their students’ academic achievements, need to keep in mind what psychologist Abraham Maslow conveyed years ago: People must FEEL cared for and cared about BEFORE they will take risks necessary to achieve.
Students too often receive messages in the form of words, gestures, actions, and bulletin board postings of achievements that convey to them that they must achieve well in order to be thought of as worthy.
Too many educators fail to realize that, with so many students, the foundation of success rests in human relations. This is especially the case with young students and students in poverty, where relationships are their most prized possessions.
At a recent get-together with friends and acquaintances, I met a second grade teacher who explained to me that she always finds some positive and empowering comment to give her students. In her class, every student believes he or she is special. In her class, every student feels cared about. No wonder her students love their teacher, and no wonder why she loves to teach!
What do you do each day to ensure that your students feel cared about and special? Please share your ideas in the comments below.