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How Teachers Can Show Students They Care

During my time at school, I came across a few teachers that made me feel valued. I think every teacher should learn the things they used to show they cared.


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Tavian jean-pierre

a year ago | 5 min read


Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash
Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash

During my early years in school, the things I needed was attention and comfort. Coming from a single-parent household meant I had to grow up quickly. Unfortunately, I did not have access to many of the things my peers did.

My mornings were full of trying to get ready for school by myself and helping my mother with her packed lunch for college. No child should be on such a tight regime in the morning, but my circumstances called for it.

However, it meant that the time spent with my mother was often about thinking about the next steps. Probably the only time I could speak to her was on the way to and from school.

More than anything, I needed my teachers to give me a voice in the class. I felt scared to speak to my peers about it, and many of them found me strange anyway. I was quieter than they were and did not want to play with any of the children.

My way of dealing with my situation was bottling it all inside. Despite thinking it was a good way to cope, I always wondered if anyone would understand me. All the students seemed to have fun, and I felt less valued as not many people would speak to me.

It was not until a new teaching assistant joined the school that I felt the warmth and comfort I always needed. After a week of her being there, she started showing me that I was valued.

In the beginning, she would often ask why I did not want to play with the other children. But after realising I was introverted, she created a comfortable space for me to open up to her.

Through asking me small questions like, what are you doing this afternoon? Or what did you have for breakfast? She was able to open me up and make me feel like someone cared.

Unfortunately, she left the school after a year. And on her last day, we made her a cake and sang her songs, but no one else was crying but me. Looking back on it, after seeing the impact she had on me, she probably did not want to leave either.

Soon after, I moved schools too. And I began to spot a pattern with teachers who valued each one of their students. Even as a university student, many of my lecturers who care about me show the same qualities.

So, here are three small yet vital things teachers who cared about me did. They all made me feel as though I had a special place in their plans and heart.

Set Time Aside to Speak With Them

Teachers often get time to speak to their students individually at points throughout the year. Some of the main points are:

  • Parents evening
  • After an exam
  • To discuss target grades

Although these three things are essential, they are all focused on the child’s progress. Every student knows that they are at school to ensure they get good grades because their parents remind them all the time.

During these sessions, the teachers can applaud you or tell you that you need to work harder. But none of these things makes the student feel valued by you. If anything, it makes them feel like another number on the spreadsheet.

Since my progress reports were never great, it would often make me feel worse. Teachers would always have something negative to say to me to try and get me on the right path.

It was nice to know that my teachers were concerned about my life progression, but it never felt genuine. They would only speak to me during those times in the year anyway. It was almost like one of those friends who only call you when they need something.

But my music teachers did something different to others. It seemed to be something that the department had decided on because they all did it. In every lesson, the teacher would call us up to check in on us.

They would ask what we did at lunch, how our family was and more. It felt comforting to know that my music teacher took a genuine interest in my life.

It was no surprise that after I left the school, three of them followed me on Facebook. And one even sent me pictures and recordings of my performance at the school. We are still in contact now, and one of them often reads my articles.

They made the effort to make me feel valued by listening to my plans away from education.

They Let Me Make Decisions

The teacher that left me in my early years would often ask me what I wanted to do. She would always value my opinion and try her best to find a win-win situation.

I will never forget when I wanted to play football but was too shy to ask the other people in my class. So the teaching assistant promised that I would be able to play football the next day.

To my surprise, at lunchtime, she rallied all the students together and told us to put our coats on. She had set up four cones and let us play a mini tournament of football outside that lunch.

We both had a big smile on our faces while I ran out in excitement. Even in my older years, my maths teacher would often reason with me before a parents evening.

He would let me know that the report was terrible, but he did not want me to look bad. So for two years before every parents evening, we would sit down, and he would let me phrase my disappointing parents evening the way I wanted it to sound.

It still did not sound great, but he valued my opinion and let me make decisions. By letting me make decisions, it made me feel like my views mattered.

They Went the Extra Mile

For most of these teachers, the bare minimum was not enough. It did not surprise me that these same teachers often had the most exciting and engaging lessons.

All of these teachers wanted to leave a lasting impact on their students, and that is what they did. When I started improving my grades, my maths teacher would photocopy his teaching notes for me.

And when I was disappointed with my physics grade, my teacher made a personal handbook for me to improve. My music teacher even brought me spare music book when I lost my own because she knew it would be a lot of pressure on my mother at the time.

Taking the register and ensuring your students get through the curriculum is one thing. But doing more to get to know your student’s personalities and make them feel valued is another.

Be the teacher who does this and see the results. Your students will appreciate your efforts, and you will leave a lasting impact on their lives.

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Tavian jean-pierre

Author of the Paradox of Leadership | Founder of Better Publication | Writer

I am a Visionary and Writer who seeks to enrich society by challenging how we do business today to lead to a world of better leaders and opportunities tomorrow.


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