Love and Affection. Learning. Report Cards. Fritz Redl

I originally posted these quotes (see bottom of post) over a year ago. They resonate deeply within me.

Love and Affection by Today is a Good Day on Flickr. Click image to view source.

Love and Affection by Today is a Good Day on Flickr. Click image to view source.

Love and affection can not be bartering tools. They just need to be. I believe they are conditions for learning, for real learning to happen. But what is real learning? It’s learning beyond the test. Learning beyond the classroom. It’s collaborating with others to move forward in whatever you might be working on – for students it can be learning about work ethic and motivation by spending extra time to make sure you are on the right track, to make sure you will be successful. For teachers it can be the same thing when we spend extra time collaborating with each other and with our students to make sure we are all successful.

I want my students to believe that my love and affection is there whether they do well or not. Of course I want them to succeed, but I certainly hope they do not seek me out after school in order to ‘win’ love and affection. I hope they seek me out because they sense the caring and because they want to succeed for themselves.

It’s report card time. I have a love/hate relationship with these times of the year. Because I have some students who are going to fail this semester. At least, they are going to fail on paper. But these same students have made such amazing advances compared to where they have come from. Advances that have nothing to do with the number that just might crush them on that government mandated piece of paper that reports on content, not process called the report card.

I’m off to battle the numbers.

Image: Fritz Redl found on Milestones: A Timeline of Wheelock College

“The children must get plenty of love and affection
whether they deserve it or not: they must be assured of the basic quota of
happy, recreational experiences whether they seem to have it coming or not.
In short, love and affection, as well as the granting of gratifying life
situations, cannot be made the bargaining tools of educational or even
therapeutic motivation, but must be kept tax-free as minimal parts of the
youngsters’ diet, irrespective of the problems of deservedness” (1952).

“Boredom will always remain the greatest enemy of school disciplines. If
we remember that children are bored, not only when they don’t happen to
be interested in the subject or when the teacher doesn’t make it
interesting, but also when certain working conditions are out of focus
with their basic needs, then we can realize what a great contributor to
discipline problems boredom really is. Research has shown that boredom
is closely related to frustration and that the effect of too much
frustration is invariably irritability, withdrawal, rebellious
opposition or aggressive rejection of the whole show.” (1966)

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(originally Published on: June 3, 2007 at 8:16 pm)