When I first started teaching one day I realized that I was spending most of my time with students who were not doing their work or acting up. I would first try a one-on-one approach to deal with them. I would then try to contact a parent either by writing letters or calling. Then, I stopped and thought that I was not doing anything about the students who did their work, behaved well and tried their best. I decided to write letters home to those students’ parents.
The first time I did this I handed the letters to the students to give to their parents. One student came back to school the next day and said, “Mr. Blumengarten, when I told my mother I got a letter from my teacher, she slapped me.”
I was upset by this so I made sure to tell the students to tell their parent that it was “a good letter from my teacher”. Many parents had never received a good letter from their child’s teacher.
Please take the time to let students know that you appreciate their efforts and good behavior and the fact that they are trying their best. Let their parents know that their children are cooperating. Work with the parents and give them ways to help their children succeed better. Many parents want to help but do not know what they can do.
Administrators should use a similar approach for their staff members. Make sure that you appreciate the hard work and dedication of your staff members. They are sure to appreciate being acknowledged in person or by a note for their efforts.
I must sincerely thank Angela Maiers for championing “YouMatter.” This to me is one of the most important things we can do with our students and staff members. Show that you really care about them and their efforts.
Our #YouMatter page