Strange question? Difficult to describe in words? Maybe sounds like a psychological journal of sorts? I think it’s important to know WHAT care is so that we know how and, more importantly, why we use it in the classroom.
Take a second. Answer the question of the title. How does it make you feel to care? How does it feel to have someone care about you? Okay, I know I'm just asking a ton of questions and not giving you any answers. But, I don’t know if I want to do it anyway! I sort of feel evasive today. But, more importantly. I want to be the educator who asks the right questions for YOU to learn what you need to for yourself! Sound good?
Our goal as educators is to teach. Hand in hand with teaching is to care, right?
Do you buy it? Does it resonate with you? How much do we express care? Why is this important? I mean, at some point as learners we care about our own learning because we care about ourselves. No matter if the educator or professor likes me or not. I’ve made the decision to learn anyway. It is my future, my experience and my learning. So, why is this important as a teacher? Can’t students just learn for the sake of learning and not have it hinge on how i make them feel?
What about this one?
We can heal wounds. Why is that my responsibility, as an educator? My job is to teach not to be a counselor? What if I don't show care? Will I be fired? Will the students not learn?
Let’s look at those quotes in two more ways.
First, as a fellow human being, what is so hard about showing care? I get that some students “don’t deserve” for us to care. They are disruptive in class. They are disrespectful to you. They’re disrespectful to other students, sometimes. You feel anger towards them. It’s hard to care. It’s hard to find ANYTHING positive about them! This makes your job so hard. I get it.
This is when you pray, read books, pump yourself up, focus on the good. All those techniques to help you to care. I’m not even talking about showing, yet. I’m talking about just caring enough to care more! How do we do that? I’m not going to get into that part. I’m just going to propose you think about how you MIGHT get there, eventually.
Here’s the kicker. I want you to think about your main job, which is to teach. Can you teach when students misbehave? And, I’ll bet a million dollars that student that is hard to care about is one of the culprits who misbehaves!
Honestly, this is a topic for another day. For now, just consider that caring might be a proactive way to handle that most challenging student. This won't be the last of this topic because it's so very important. So, stay tuned!