A few years ago, one of our Middle School principals shared an activity she did at her site. She printed out pictures of every student on the campus and hung them up in the teachers' lounge. The teachers were to put a tally mark under the picture if they spoke to the student that day. What was the outcome? Realization. Shocking realization. Some students had 0 tally marks. Some students went through an entire school day without any adult contact. That is heart breaking. This is not to fault the teachers, this is to call attention to this idea. What are the implications from this exercise and what changes were made?
But here is a layer I would like to add. How many of those tally marks were marked because the teacher talked TO the student rather than WITH them? There is a difference. Stop and think about that for a second...
I often say that words matter, because they absolutely do. This is an immense responsibility. How are we using this power?
Here's the thing. This does not only hold true for our students...it holds true for all people, young and old. I believe that we don't tell people enough what they mean to us. We don't share our appreciation, our caring thoughts, our genuine care for one another. This is not the norm, but why? If these sentiments are genuine, coming from the heart, they should be shared. But if it is just inauthentic lip service, it could have a detrimental effect. There is a difference and it is felt. We usually do not know what others are dealing with...everyone has doubt, struggle, issues. No one's are bigger or worse than another because it is their reality. So let us be more cognizant of the effects of our words and be intentional with them. Let us use them to create good...to create positive...to make a difference. They just might be exactly what someone needs. Be the difference.
Mother, teacher, TOSA, GCE Level 1 & 2, Encourager of others.
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