Face it, in the professional world affirmations are few and far between. There are many who will not hesitate to tell you what you are doing wrong or what they are unhappy with. Sharing a thank you or great job is not something that everyone will take the time to do.
Years ago someone told me to start a smile file. This is great advice for anyone, not just teachers. A smile file is where you keep words of encouragement received from clients or co-workers, affirmations of a job well done, or just something from your work environment that makes you laugh and smile. When you really need to remember why you do what you do, take a look through the file.
I received an addition for my smile file today. The parents shared that the student said I was:
“very good at explaining and making kids feel comfortable about letting you know when they are confused. ‘She tells us to start telling her what we know and then to say when we get to the part we don’t understand.'”
In the past I have had students express that this technique is intimidating. It would take more than a semester for me to get students comfortable with Socratic questioning. “I don’t know” is not an acceptable response in my classroom. You know something so let’s see if we can get you thinking in the direction needed. For this student to share, unsolicited, with a parent is validating.
With all the frustration of this year, something must be going right.
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