Take a moment to think back to when you were at school. In primary school I remember being obsessed with transformers, The Spice Girls and what my friends though of me. I was a slightly overweight, pasty and short student who cared deeply about the opinions of the ‘popular children’ and who always strived to please the teachers. I was a diligent student. I remember one day in the playground telling my Year 3 teacher, Mrs. Richards, that a group of students wouldn’t let me play with them. They were being mean and calling me names. I recall it, as if it was yesterday, Mrs. Richards stopped her conversation with one of her colleagues and shooed me away. I persisted, and told her my traumatic tale again, and once again she shooed me away with a waving hand. At that moment I walked away trying hold back tears. At that time in my life being accepted by my friends was a big deal – in fact, it was my world. Mrs. Richards was a great teacher; passionate, kind and dedicated; yet in that moment she was busy, probably tired and otherwise disinterested.
I too have been guilty of Mrs. Richard’s mistake. Sometime you get busy and your mind is a million miles away. As teachers we can never be too busy, or too distracted to engage with our students. We need to get into their wonderful world so that we can truly engage with them.
When you on playground duty be present – Playground duty can be chore, but you need to loo at it as a wonderful opportunity to connect with your students outside of the classroom.
Emphasise with your students – Think back to when you were their age. What was important to you? Just watch the faces of you students light up when you actively participate in their lives.
Be interruptible by your students – no matter how busy you are.
As teachers, your words are held in high esteem. By taking a little bit of time each day, you can step inside the wonderful world of your class – world full of imagination, friendship drama and infinite possibilities.