don’t forget the human connection

Dennis Harter writes:

We concern ourselves with the big goals and forget the small goals. We don’t have, often enough, the conversations that allow students to connect with us and us with them. The conversations that show how much we value them and their thoughts.

I commented on this in the original post, but I feel the need to repeat myself here. It is  something I want to remember as often as possible. It reminds me of a quote I like to cite…I have no clue who first said or wrote it :)

They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

I’ve been thinking about that quite a bit these past few weeks.

A little while ago I was teaching my students some nifty new trick for their blog writing – like embedding media or something like that. One of my students was really not into it and I had to hover and nag for him to get even a fraction of his assignment done. As the bell rang, he hung around until the others left and asked if I would walk him to a new class he was starting the following morning. When I responded that I would he surprised me by spontaneously hugging me! This is a boy in grade 7! At that moment I knew that it was the human connection and not the nifty blogging tricks that was important for that child (and for me, as it touched me deeply.)

Since then, I’m thinking about how to merge those feelings of security and caring with learning. I think that is the key.

Thanks for a great post, Dennis. :)


  • Tracy Rosen says:

    I only work with a few students – 13. I find it nice because it allows the quality of the connection to grow in ways that would be very difficult with larger numbers.
    Sometimes I feel like I am going nuts, always being with the same group of kids all day long I think we all could use a change some times! But when it comes down to it, I love what they teach me about patience and compassion.

  • Thank YOU, for adding to it and making it richer with your post.

    I find that I miss that connection I used to have with more students (though, I don’t know if they are any lesser for not having it! :-))

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