1. Denise Brennan

    My 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Kane, let us pick our own seats in the classroom probably around the middle of the year. She told us that she thought it would make us happier, which would then make teaching and learning more fun. I was thrilled and happier to be in school. It stuck with me and I often do that with my classes.

  2. Sharon

    Grade 11 Algebra with Mr Kagetsu. Math was not easy for me and there was a day when I either put up my hand (or he called on me) to answer a question. I got the answer right, he asked me two more questions that I think I also got right and I remember feeling special.

  3. Charles Ongena

    My first grade resource teacher was my first memory of an adult speaking to me like a fellow person, we had back and forth not just sit and get, and in what would later be called “flexible seating”. Those short periods of time saved me from a rough year in and out and I never forgot it.

    I also wanted to share how I used this post as a segway this week for a message to the staff at the district I work in. One of my hats is district safety and there is no more effective strategy in my opinion than promoting mental health and wellbeing in our students now with reminders like you shared in this post. I’ve gotten so many stories back and so many conversations started with this that I felt it worth sharing, thank you for the right post at the right time.

    Forward of this post with the message:

    You may recall the TED Talks video I sent out at the beginning of this year from Aaron Stark called “I Was Almost a School Shooter”. Along these same lines I wanted to remind you to not only look for opportunities these last few days to show (even the most challenging) students kindness in between the chaos, but to also take a moment to think about what summer break may mean to some of our kids and what you may want them to leave with.

    School provides much more than improved test scores, it provides safety, structure, consistency, physical nourishment and “face to face” interaction with a diverse group of people. A student doesn’t have to and may not know how to express their appreciation for these things, but you should understand that you are a provider or a facilitator of these often thankless services that are of great value to the very vulnerable, impressionable and quite often either withdrawn or hard to handle young people in your charge.

    School district employees who put their “all” into a tough student with no apparent success will often have those same students return years later, glowing to see them with nothing but love. Life isn’t all rainbows and unicorns for anyone, but it is worse for some, and you won’t always know who. Sometimes basic safety, consistent nourishment, routines, proximity and interaction at school fill a void you would assume is being filled at home but is not.

    You have no control over what a student goes home to, but you do have some degree of control of what a student goes home with. That could be feelings, memories or an individualized Smurf Card like George Couros talks about in the blog article below entitled “Simplest Gestures Are Often the Most Memorable”.

  4. rithisaiaanandh

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