Sharing ideas on Education, Leadership and Life

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Student's concerns

Here is a quote from "How To Deal with Parents who Are Angry, Troubled, Afraid or Just Plain Crazy", By Elaine McEwan:
“Don’t try to pass off complaints as unimportant or a figment of a child’s imagination. My experience…. Has shown me that children and sensitive human beings with important perceptions about their schooling experience. If for any reason they are not happy in school we need to do all we can to get to the bottom of their anxiety. Any problem faced by a child at school is a real problem that must be addressed. Sometimes, all we need to do is listen and empathize.”

I know through out my teaching career I have been guilty of doing this by telling a student not to worry it is nothing. However for them it is something and it has to be taken seriously. Often it could be as simple as saying I am sorry to hear that give me a few minutes and we can talk about it.
The following is a true story. Note: the teacher's first language is not English.
A student got a cut in class and asked the teachers if he/she could go to the office. The teacher who was in the middle of teaching told the student in dismissive way " OK good go to the office."
That night I got a call from the parent asking me why the teacher would say that is was good that my child got hurt. After investigating the situation I came to the following conclusion what the teacher wanted to say was OK you may go to the office but due to the language barrier used the word good. however it gave me the opportunity to mention to the teacher ( who was not having a successful year that year) that the students need to feel that you care about them and perhaps a more appropriate response would have been " Oh I am sorry do you want to go to the office"

So lets remember that our student's concern matter and if they are important to them then those concerns should be important to us.

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