I’ve worked in education in one guise or another for more years than I care to mention, but over the course of my career I have always held firm that learning happens best when our students feel that we are invested in not only their learning, but their development as a person.
Because this is now so ingrained in how I work, it seemed like an obvious thing to be writing about when I published my first book. If I hadn’t included a chapter entitled “You’ve gotta love ’em”, I don’t think I would have been including the fundamental aspect of how I teach & tutor. It was this expectation that all other educators would naturally work in the same way that caused me to be completely sideswiped when working with a young man on literacy this month (not my specialism, but I was there to help!).
He arrived with a set of spellings and got every single one wrong when we tested what he already knew. I was shocked at the tears & panic that this created, but after working out what worked for him, and some “resilience cake” we retested what he knew & he’d nailed several of them already. We celebrated & he went off to do his best the next day at school.
My heart broke when he returned having been set a punishment for “only” getting 50% of them correct.
My point here? Celebrate your student’s hard work & progress and they will fly far further than you ever thought they could.
A shout out to the teachers & tutors in the majority who reward effort.