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Caring: How I Show It

April 23, 2013

“No, I’m not interested in doing the Harlem Shake.”

I’ve uttered phrases like this at school countless times, much to the enjoyment/chagrin of my colleagues. Upon my latest refusal to participate in “fun,” my enthusiasm and support for my students was brought into question. I’m not sure if the questioner meant the inquiry to be real or to be tongue-in-cheek, but it struck a nerve either way.

My personality simply doesn’t lend itself to things like this. I’m a bona fide introvert, what with my disdain for loud crowds and chaotic events. So, no, I don’t like pep rallies or out of control dances. But DON’T tell me this correlates with a lack of caring for my students.

Every last one of my students will tell you I care about them and support their learning. Every. Last. One. I show it by smiling at them in the morning and welcoming them into the classroom by name. I show it by calling their parents when they have done something exceptional. I show it by pointing out to their peers when they have done something extraordinary academically. I show it by creating a classroom where they can excel. I show it by telling them when I am proud of them. I show it by telling them when I am disappointed in them. I show it by never giving up on them. I show it by teaching high expectations and never allowing my students to fall short of them. I show it by hugging them when they need a hug and high fiving them when they need a high five.

This list could go on forever; that’s not the point. The point is that I care about my students and I show them that every single day, whether I do the Harlem Shake or not.

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