A couple of students approached me yesterday with the question, "Are all teachers nice?"
That made me think, and my answer was that "All teachers have good days and not so good days like all people."
"No, but really," they continued, "do you think every teacher is nice?"
I thought some more, and asked them to explain why they were asking the question. They told me a related story. I said that I would figure out a way to follow up and explained that as educators we all try to be as nice as we can as we teach. I noted a recent class issue that caused alarm, and said that when serious issues arise, a teacher has to make some tough decisions, but the bottom line is that we always have to try to be a nice and kind as possible. They could see the issue from a broader viewpoint.
Due to a number of issues yesterday, I relaxed our typical schedule which opened the door for this important conversation and other important discussion points.
We have to make time to build trusting, positive relationships with our students. That takes time and intention, and sometimes means we have to push the boundaries of the tight curriculum-focused schedules we work with.