So today, I decided to forgo telling students “You Matter” at the beginning of class like I had the two previous days. Instead I said it to some of the classes at the end of class as they left. I’ve also told them that if they start having a bad day to come and tell me about it.
I also wrote the following on the whiteboard:
“You have a purpose”
“You are not an accident
I put it on the board at the beginning of 1st period. I have some of the same students in 1st and 4th period. When they walked in at 4th period, one of them asked when I had written it up there. The other students told her that I wrote it up there 1st period (Did ya catch that? They read it, they noticed it!). She asked if she could erase it and re-write it. Sure, why not.
And that is what she did. She rewrote it and I was happy. This is the same girl that had tears in her eyes on Friday. She’s told me she’s been in a bad mood the last two days because of some family problems. She asked me to help her with an assignment in another class. She told me that the thing she likes about alternative school is that we try to help them in all things, not like at regular school where teachers don’t care. That makes me both happy and sad.
Tell your students that they matter. Tell them they have a purpose. Tell them they are not an accident.