This morning I did a quick little check with my students to get a better look into their home lives and how their day might have already started. I had all of my students put their heads down and raise their hands if my statement applied to them.
1. Raise your hand if someone at your house told you they loved you this morning or told you something positive about yourself.
Two students raised their hands to this question. TWO. STUDENTS.
2. Raise your hand if you got in an argument with someone this morning.
About five students raised their hands.
3. Raise your hand if you got yelled at this morning.
About eleven students raised their hand to this question, which is over half of the students in my classroom this year.
Talk about a reality check. You're telling me only two of my students heard that they were loved, special, important, and amazing at something. Yet over half of my students had already been yelled at before even coming to school. Over half of my students are starting their day off negatively. No child deserves this at all. No matter the circumstances.
I had the students put their hands down and put their heads up. I proceeded to tell students that I love them and think every single one of them is special and unique in their own way. I told them that they have the power to do anything they want to do in life, and I am so happy that they are here at this school, in my classroom. Nothing they do could ever make me change my mind about that.
Some students didn't even know how to respond to hearing these things said about them. I had some students say "ew" when I told them I loved them, and some students laughed. My kids don't even know how to respond to someone who truly shows and expresses love for them. It honestly broke my heart. How can we expect these students to learn to love and care for others (and themselves) if they don't have adults who show them what it looks like? Students need to feel that they are loved, and they also need to hear that they are loved and so important.
This quote really stuck out to me while doing this quick check with my students. Maybe some students are unresponsive because they haven't been loved yet and therefore aren't ready to learn. My job is to love them and continue to love them because eventually they will be ready to learn. If all a student learns is that they are loved and so very important, I've done my job. That is the greatest victory of all.
Hi! My name is Mikaela, and I am currently in my second year of teaching second grade. I am working at a Title I school with a diverse population of learners.