I remember arriving at school one morning and stepping into the elevator to go to my classroom (the school is in the centre of the city, in a high rise building). I was in the elevator with a student from our school and his father. The elevator doors opened and the student’s dad said to him,
“Are you ok to walk to your classroom on your own?”
The student responded with,
As the student stepped out of the elevator, I said to him,
“Tell Dad to have a good day.”
The student dutifully obeyed my suggestion,
“Have a good day, Daddy.”
The lift doors closed and the student turned to me and said, rather resentfully,
“My Dad never has a good day at work.”
I asked him how he knew this to be true. He responded,
“Because he always tells me how bad his day was.”
The student wandered off to class and I stood there astounded – this student is only six years old and his opinion of an adult’s day to day ‘work’ is so negative and disempowering.
This reminded me of how powerful our example is to the students we teach. Whether we are aware of it or not, we set an example to our students in our attitudes, our beliefs, and our behavior. To some extent, our studentswill emulate elements of who we are and what we believe. This can be a rather scary thought!
This week’s assignment:
As you interact with your students today, be aware of the example you’re setting. Think about the picture of the world that you are communicating to them. Be conscious of how your own attitudes and opinions may come across to them. You example as a teacher will have tremendous influence. Make it a positive one!
Enjoy the journey,
And more importantly,
Enjoy the moments.