What do our students want? Students want to be recognized as individuals and valued for who they are. Unfortunately, most kids don’t come out and ask for what they want. Instead, it is up to us as teachers to read between the lines and give students what they want and need.
Students Want Personalized Attention
I don’t think this comes as any surprise to you. The ways in which students ask for this attention can sometimes be a bit shocking. I mean, a student isn’t going to walk up to you and ask for some one-on-one time while other students are in specials. If they do, then count yourself lucky!
Instead, a student is much more likely to ask for attention by doing things such as interrupting your interactions with other students, acting out, or generally being annoying.
You can check out 1o ways to give positive attention to an attention seeking student here.
Students Want A Calm Reaction
Do you find your students are lying to you? It is possible they are afraid of what kind of reaction they might receive.
Often students who are slow, to tell the truth, have the memory of an adult’s harsh overreaction at the back of their mind. It is important to remember when speaking to a student, whether they are in the right or wrong, we keep our cool and offer a calm reaction with a problem-solving approach. This is more affective than coming down solely as a disciplinarian.
Students Want Encouragement
It is easy to write off a student’s self-worth as being high from the beginning. The truth is students need us to build them up from day one, and every day after.
Students, just like the rest of us, need to be recognized for our efforts, not just our accomplishments.
Instead of constantly advising our students, take the time to encourage them.
Students Want Choice
Who doesn’t like choice?
I know personally, I can get ten times as much done when given choice. Also, I feel better about it to boot.
There are a lot of areas in the classroom in which we can provide choice. One of the easiest is the order in which tasks are completed. We can ask students whether they would like to complete a math task before or after reading, for example. This gives our students an option without giving them the opportunity to get out of any of the work.
Students Want To Feel Accomplished
Everyone wants to feel like a success, and our students are included.
When we help our students with everything we rob them of the opportunity to feel personal accomplishment. We also rob them of the opportunity to fail and pick themselves up again.
Without the opportunity to struggle, just a little bit, students lack the ability to truly feel proud of their accomplishments.
As hard as it is, we cannot do everything for our students.
Students Want To Be Valued For Who They Are
Comparison is the thief of joy, and our students feel a thief knocking on their door each time you compliment another student.
Every student yearns to be recognized and valued for who they are, not who we want them to be.
Take the time to recognize students for their individual traits, and celebrate them!
Students Want To Be Heard
Just as our students want to be valued, they want us to hear them.
As adults, we spend a lot of time talking to students. We need to remember to take a breath and listen to them as well.
Students are insightful and have amazing things to share with us. One of the most important ways to value a student is to listen to what they have to say and respond in a thoughtful way.
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