Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Highlight your Magical Teaching Moment

Goal #2 in the Teacher Reboot Camp 30 goals challenge for the educator.

Highlight a Magical Teaching Moment

Sometimes I forget to honor the special moments in the daily interactions with students. Thinking back to the different classes I've taken and taught brings me nice memories. I wish I had written about them as they happened.

I still remember the best piece of advice given to me by the teacher for my Education Psychology class, Mr. McElroy said, "Treat every child as if he or she was the mayor's child". It is a simple way to conduct yourself and I really believe that type of respect is the minimum each person deserves. When I became a teacher and later principal I worked to impart the leadership required to apply his sage advice.

I remember many students who made a deep impact upon my interactions with them. So many elementary students simply needed a supportive family unit and our classroom sometimes substituted for that family. Jenna was the oldest of five children. She loved to take a book from the classroom home to read to her younger siblings. I always used my teacher points to order extra books so I would have one to give her to keep at home. I watched her grow and become a serious academic student. As she left elementary and transitioned to junior high school she still contacted me for advice or a friendly chat.

Through the years I have had so many positive interactions with students that have enriched my life.  During the time I spent as junior high school principal, it seemed the negative interactions remained much stronger than any positive ones, therefore I was pleasantly surprised when I encountered a mother and daughter who shared a story with me. I had long forgotten but Karen had never forgotten because it helped her thrive in school each day. Sometime during most every day in junior high, to her dismay Karen was sent to my office so I could judge the length of her shorts or skirt. She told me I would read the note from the teacher, tell her the clothing was fine, answer the note and send her back to class. I don't remember that small action but it meant a lot to her. I thanked her for sharing that with me and told her she brightened my outlook.

I hope this story encourages readers to share a positive interaction with a former teacher or administrator. You, too, can make a difference by sharing your sentiment.

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