What Students Really Need to Hear

I’m probably going to share this with my students and my Instructional Assistants, even though I teach at the undergraduate level. It seems to be true at all levels of teaching, and sadly, some students will not get it until long after they’ve left school. And perhaps, some of them have left learning. However, this term I worked with a great guy who came back to school after a few years because he realized how he messed up first time around. It can happen, and we have to stay strong.


It’s 4 a.m.  I’ve struggled for the last hour to go to sleep.  But, I can’t.  Yet again, I am tossing and turning, unable to shut down my brain.  Why?  Because I am stressed about my students.  Really stressed.  I’m so stressed that I can only think to write down what I really want to say — the real truth I’ve been needing to say — and vow to myself that I will let my students hear what I really think tomorrow.

This is what students really need to hear:

First, you need to know right now that I care about you. In fact, I care about you more than you may care about yourself.  And I care not just about your grades or your test scores, but about you as a person. And, because I care, I need to be honest with you. Do I have permission to be…

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