Today, I had practice at 6:30 AM, school starting at 8:15 AM, and parent/teacher conferences that run until 7:00 PM. I was up at 4:45 this morning to bake cinnamon rolls (I cheat with these and use frozen ones), to get myself around, and be at the school to make sure the doors are open and that I can greet the girls coming in.
You are thinking: What the heck?? Sleep is a good thing!!
I’d tend to agree, sleep is a good thing, but in order to get these kinds of practices, I feed my girls. I coach 8th grade girls, and having two daughters who are past the 8th grade all ready, I know, the easiest way to get them up early, feed them.
It does two things. One, it’s that incentive to come in. After practice, we have cinnamon rolls, chocolate, milk, juice, and just a time for them to sit and relax. Two, it shows I care. For me, that’s the biggest thing. And why not? Why would all as educators not try to get that idea that we do care to our students? Do we want these students to think otherwise? Do we want that idea of “don’t smile until Christmas” to be commonplace?
I don’t want my students to ever, ever feel that I don’t care. I work hard to build the relationships, to know them, to ask about their days/weekends/vacations/celebrations/hardships. If I can build it now, to make the connections count, then when it gets hard, when I’m asking questions that are tough, that trust is there. I’ve been in the boat where the relationship isn’t there and suddenly, life is hard and hard for both myself and the student. Why would I put myself through that?
Anyway, you aren’t less of a teacher if you let them know you are care about them. Things won’t suddenly go south, nor will the world grind to a halt. But what could happen if they do know? Great things.
And if you feed them cinnamon rolls, expect greater things! 🙂