Something kind of cool has happened to me at school the last few weeks. One of our teachers is also our school counselor. Now, I’m going to be careful here not to divulge anything confidential. But she has become aware of some difficulties our students have been going through.
Today, as I got into school, I was walking past her room, as I do every day. I said good morning to her, and she asked if we could talk for a minute. I happily obliged, knowing that she wouldn’t ask if she didn’t have something well worth my time in those precious moments before everyone else arrives.
She shared with me something that our students were going through. But she said these words to me: “I’m going to share this with you because I know you know these kids and you understand this sort of thing.”
Now, the thing wasn’t an area of my expertise. It wasn’t something that I was told because I’m the English teacher or the math teacher. Not because I’m a male, on the younger end of the teaching age spectrum, or heavily bearded. Not because I love books or because I practice my faith. No, the reason this was shared with me was because I understand that kids need to be in a community where people care about them and look out for them. A place where relationships matter. She shared this with me because I’m a trusted colleague, but also because I “know these kids.”
Do we take the time to know our students? What are the benefits that can come from truly knowing our students? I could write a blog post every day, I think, on what those benefits are.
I won’t, though. Probably.
But even if I did: what could be more important?