Sunday, February 02, 2020

Loving the children we teach

I contemplated love this morning. The contemplation seed occurred yesterday when I pondered the questions, what do I want; what do I need? As I pondered, I realized that it was important to me to live a more loving life. Of course, as I pondered these questions, I realized that there are areas of life where I can be more loving, and in those areas I've wrongly projected what people need rather than truly ask those people, what do you need? how can I help?

In part, my contemplation included the students at school--children for whom I believe I can serve in better ways, children I need to listen to more. It is not always easy to be able to listen to all of our students in school given the numbers of students we serve and the busy schedules we have, but we must make time for this as it is the only way that we can serve our students with good service, the only way we can truly help our students achieve in meaningful, life-enriching ways.

So how can we make more time to listen to our students and then respond to their needs and desires? We have to re-look at our schedules to determine who is getting attention and time. It is likely that children that need more time to express themselves for all kinds of reasons may not be getting the air time and service they deserve--how do we carve out time in the busy school schedule to honor the voices and choices of these students? It is also likely that some students who face the most confusing, complex situations in life may not be getting the deep and meaningful time they need to sort out life's complexities in order to move ahead of the confusion and complexity life has handed them. How do we make time for these students to express themselves, tell their stories, and receive the kinds of help that truly make a difference.

It is easy to love and serve students who fit the schedules and goals we already have in place at schools, but it is not as easy to love and serve students who don't fit into our neatly created schedules, curriculum programs, and plans, yet these are the students who need us the most. These are the students for whom a loving approach to teaching and learning will make life-changing results. We can't ignore this awesome opportunity that we have to truly make a difference in children's lives.

I will continue to think about how I might love and serve my students, their families, and colleagues better in the days ahead. Love is the first answer when we seek to elevate what we do and how we do it. Onward.