Good teachers always impress me…and it’s even better when it’s your kid’s teacher!
Our Hayley is in 2nd grade, and today I got to spend some time helping out in her class. Several of the kids were sharing reports in front of the class, a scary thing to do for anybody, let alone a 7 year old. Most of us would want the kids to have a good experience, and because of that, we’d probably just encourage the kids no matter what they did. But Hayley’s teacher wanted more. She wanted to build confidence, but she also wanted to teach the kids skills that will help their whole life long.
One kid was doing a report on Abraham Lincoln, and he said he was famous “because he was President.” Hayley’s teacher affirmed him, but then she went deeper. “I want to challenge you,” she said. “I want you to really work at this. Lots of men have been president…what about Abraham Lincoln stood out from other presidents?” The boy was able, even standing in front of the class, to realize it was Lincoln’s work to end slavery that made him famous. It was then that the class all clapped for him. The teacher gave him a gift by building his confidence AND teaching him to dig deep for answers. He discovered writing and learning sometimes requires going deeper.
I want to be more like Hayley’s teacher. Of course I want to encourage people, especially my kids. But to couple encouragement and confidence building with a challenge to think deeper and work harder is even better.