10 Common Misconceptions About Students Who Don’t Care
How To Get Your Students To Care
When students don’t listen or follow directions, or they roll their eyes when you speak, or they talk while you are talking, it can seem as though they don’t care what you think of them.
This is a misconception.
Young people do care what adults e.g. parents and teachers think of them.
They care very deeply even when they don’t show it.
The more it seems they don’t care, the more they do care.
This is especially true of our vulnerable, more tricky students. What they want to know is that you care about them.
Students will do more for teachers they know care about them!
Here are 10 ways to show you care about your students.
ONE: Greet them at the classroom door, use their name and be happy to see them.
TWO: Smile and use other positive body language ie thumbs up, nodding, eye contact, proximity and pat on the back to show your delight.
THREE: Be consistent in your moods and attitude. While you may not always be a ball of sunshine -we all have bad days- students need to know that you are pretty much on an even keel most of the time. For some students, you may be the only stable, positive influence in their lives.
FOUR: Respect your students by respecting their time. Don’t keep them waiting- not outside the classroom, not to get back to them about an issue, not for feedback about their work.
FIVE: Respect their intelligence by providing work that is challenging and diverse. Remember the Goldilocks principle and provide work that is not too easy, not too hard, but just right.
SIX: Respect student learning and allow them to make mistakes. As John Holt, How Children Fail, states, students are usually bored, confused or scared and trying to figure out what the teacher wants. Fear based learning works because students simply regurgitate what they think the teacher is looking for.
SEVEN: Respect what your students bring to the classroom and value their cultural and familial background and understandings. We no longer see our students as ‘tabula rasa’ (blank slate) for us to input data.
EIGHT: Showing students that you care is more than just knowing their footy team or favourite music. It is understanding how they learn and consistently providing the necessary scaffolds and support for them to achieve.
NINE: Respect your students by using respectful language and tone of voice at all times. When students don’t behave appropriately or treat you with respect, this is the most important time for you to model appropriate behaviour. This is when the student is most vulnerable and needs you to be steady and consistent.
TEN: Have high expectations for all your students and communicate high expectations in your words and actions. Let them know that you believe in them, believe they can learn and achieve. When something is hard, let them know but also let them know that you trust in their ability to have a go.
Getting students to care about their learning begins with you, the teacher. It is your role to model care, compassion and empathy as well as consistency, high standards and perseverance.
When you show up as your best self and demonstrate respect for all your students you are leading the leaders of the future.
Keep up the great work! Teachers Rock!!!