What Students Really Need to Hear

As an early childhood educator, I see my role as a scaffolder for the main events talked about in this blog. I see it as my job to give students the language and encouragement in early schooling that will help them cope with the challenges that lie ahead. Language and attitudes used with students are a big part of this: using words like strategy, try again, great effort, work it out, talk it out. I need to teach students the basics of perseverance and give them the voice inside their head that says “don’t give up”. That voice should be in their heads from birth, but I guarantee any student I teach won’t leave my classroom without getting that voice from me.


It’s 4 a.m.  I’ve struggled for the last hour to go to sleep.  But, I can’t.  Yet again, I am tossing and turning, unable to shut down my brain.  Why?  Because I am stressed about my students.  Really stressed.  I’m so stressed that I can only think to write down what I really want to say — the real truth I’ve been needing to say — and vow to myself that I will let my students hear what I really think tomorrow.

This is what students really need to hear:

First, you need to know right now that I care about you. In fact, I care about you more than you may care about yourself.  And I care not just about your grades or your test scores, but about you as a person. And, because I care, I need to be honest with you. Do I have permission to be…

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