An educator once said that as teachers we should not dismiss the heartbreak of our teenagers: a break up for them affects them in the same way (emotionally) as it would affect an adult going through a divorce.
Hearing those words made me realize that, often, we dismiss the feelings of teenagers because they are ‘too young to understand’ feelings in the way that adults do. I was a teenager not too long ago; I think that I had more strength and wisdom, at times, back then because life hadn’t jaded me as much and I had the gift of infinite optimism.
I was so nervous that what had tied me to learners at my previous school would distance me from learners now. What a silly thought that was! I breathed a real sigh of relief when they understood my self-ridicule at my difficulties with maths! I was overjoyed when my natural quirkiness in the classroom made them smile. I was at home when they nodded in agreement and understanding when I shared how a life experience had affected me. I realized that as long as I was genuine and sincere I would remain relatable and, on occasion, like-able (because you are doing something terribly wrong if a teenager likes you everyday!).
I noticed sadness in one of my students and reached out to her. In return, I received healthy thank you treats. I don’t recall mentioning my obsession with eating well, but she knew! And so I’m smiling because sincerity has amounted to another relationship being built, one that can be used to encourage my primary goal in the classroom: success.
Until my next post.