“My personal belief is that students are a lot more competent than we ever give them credit for, and sometimes all we need is to do is get out of their way.”
Ok, those are actually Paula White’s words but we share the same belief.
I have always thought that students will rise to the bar we place for them. Last week we worked with all of our students around the issue of bullying and its mirror, being thoughtful, respectful, nice to each other. Later that same day I saw one of my students approach another, someone she never usually gives the time of day, “I just want to say hi. What’s up?” While we were filing out of an assembly (the assembly itself was pretty rocking – a presentation by Music With Meaning). I know that little outreach meant the world to the student on the receiving end. I was touched to no end.
We are explicitly expecting kindness. They are rising to those expectations when we step out of their way and give them the space to do so.
I love the way you say that you are explicitly expecting kindness! So many times I hear teachers express frustration about kids’ behavior and expectations that they should already “know how to act.” You say it so eloquently that we need to teach what we want to see explicitly and then move out of the way to let them do it. I think many times we stand right smack dab in the way, not purposely, but perhaps as a result of our beliefs that they aren’t ready or aren’t there yet. We need to keep that bar high and truly believe kids will outshine our expectations. Thank you for sharing.