As I compose this, I’m surrounded by sunlight streaming through the windows. The sunlight makes it look like a wonderful day for outdoor activities, but today the sunlight is deceptive. Outside my door lies the coldest temperatures of a decade. Today’s sun and cold provide a great analogy for many of our students. On the surface, we often see either a delightful student or a behavior problem, but if we never take time to get to know the student below the facade, we may miss the “real” student. We may miss the opportunity to make a difference to the student who truly needs it but only knows how to “ask” for help by being disruptive.
If I fail to get to know the weather outside before leaving my house, I’ll use the wrong strategies to deal with it. Similarly, if I fail to get to know my students, I may miss an opportunity to provide the help, support, or encouragement that they may need desperately.
The school year is already well underway, and I think I know my students. However as school resumes this week, I’m going to redouble my effort to really understand each of my students so that I can truly have a positive impact on each and every one of them. Won’t you join me in working to make sure 2014 is an even more awesome year for our students?