Today, my students constructed their own food webs. We have been learning about ecology and they were able to choose an ecosystem to research and use to illustrate their food web. This post isn’t about the assignment. It’s about something I see often with my students. When students show me their work I often tell them how artistic or creative they are. I tell them I’m proud of them and I am impressed by their work. What I find, year after year, is they are shocked by my compliment. And not that they don’t know how to receive a compliment, but moreso that it makes me wonder if they’re not accustomed to hearing how incredible they are. It makes me wonder, do they see what I see? Have they been told how amazing they truly are and the talents they possess? As teachers, we can be hard on students—myself included, but no one is harder on them than they are. I always wonder why they are surprised to hear me say you did an amazing job? You’re a talented artist. You have a future in this. And then I remember that they’re twelve year olds who are going through an incredibly awkward and difficult age. Oftentimes, they’re told what they are NOT good at. They’re bullied, they’re belittled, they’re made to feel like they aren’t good enough by a world viewing life through the lens of social media. And that is precisely why our jobs are SO important. We have to show them their talents. We have to open their eyes to see what we see that they cannot. And we have to tell them what we love about them MORE than what we want them to improve. This is a long post, but something that just is heavy on my heart for our students and something I wanted to share. Let’s do better at being mindful of this. I’d love to know something that your students impress you with. What makes you proud of them? What makes you want to celebrate them? What makes you grateful for them?
#buildthemup #celebratestudents #iteachmiddle #teachersofinstagram #7thgrade #scienceisfun #teachers #teacher #teaching #iteachtoo #teachersofinsta #teachingmiddleschool #scienceteacher #lifescience #iteach7th #scienceteacher #middleschool #science