When We Let Our Students Know Who We Are

I really wanted to get to know my Kinders more deeply, what they like to do when not in school,  their interests and passions (my #geniushour influence).  As we build rapport with our students, they too recognize us as people not only as “teacher”. They quickly identify us as individuals with our idiosyncratic likes and behaviors. My students comment about my clothes, if not to me or each other, then (I am told), at home with their parents. My kinders see me with my cup of coffee from my favorite coffee house every day. A cup of coffee is just that, whether it is a latte (which I drink) or not. They see me as a reader, a writer, wowed by my cutting and drawing skills; “You are such a good drawer!” is a refrain I often hear as I demonstrate a lesson. They also assign attributes to all their teachers for their skills, abilities and appearance (making connections from kids to adult attire).  I am also a grandmother with three grandchildren close enough in age to my Kinders. They ask questions when I make a comment about them in a discussion, as a frame of reference. I write this after a delightful encounter I had with one of my students at my coffee place. She was so excited to see me when she came in with her mom and then became incredibly shy. It was so endearing. It was clear she was making a connection between seeing me with my coffee cup everyday and the place I buy it; as she looked around and waited until I left with cup in hand.
(photo-1 (We having been learning about neighborhoods and she recognized that this is the place I buy my coffee. More about neighborhoods in another post.) 
This year, more so then others, I am giving my students a wider glimpse of my life. I look to nurture children who have concern and empathy for others; I start small, with each of us in our classroom.  As we share our interests, joys and “glitches” (where appropriate and when helpful: a life lesson), then I have broadened the scope of me as a teacher. This is a role I cherish. I want to be part of the bigger picture in their learning and understanding of the world and how they can effect it. Here is an incredible video of Just 1 girl
I am curious to know if you are comfortable sharing more of you with your students. Is that reflected in your teaching?
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2 Responses to When We Let Our Students Know Who We Are

  1. Faige, I used to talk to my students all the time about my interests. I’ve gotten so wrapped up in learning about theirs the past couple of years that I haven’t done much of that at all. However, I do use my passions in class – I’ll sing to or with them, show my photography when I can in a presentation or to incite a discussion about what we’re reading or writing, and let them know the things we have in common. Of course I’ll answer their questions, and with 7th grade you never know what they’ll ask!! It’s always funny when they learn something about me and are surprised. I do love learning about their interests, but don’t really make it a point to share mine. I used to – a LOT. I think I’ve passed through that phase. I guess it wouldn’t hurt to tell them a couple of things so that I look human! 😉

    • faige says:

      Thank you for commenting. I am an open book with colleagues (and employees at work) and friends. Not so much with parents or students. Since having grandchildren I enjoy sharing stories about them to my Kinders and this has opened a whole new world of questioning and discovery for them and me. For me it is important that my students know I wear many HATS!

      Sent from my iPad

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