The teaching phrase I cannot stand

The teaching phrase I cannot stand and what I'm doing about it.

It’s a common phrase many teachers have heard time and time again: never care more about a student’s grade than they do. I first heard this phrase during my credential program. I heard this phrase from multiple teachers during my first few years in the classroom. I am still hearing this phrase today. And you know what? I am tired of hearing this phrase because I could not disagree more. And let me tell you, if I hear that phrase one more time...

We are the adults in the classroom. We are their teachers. We are the ones who are supposed to be giving them a solid foundation in which to succeed. We need to care, and I will even say that we should care more than they do.

The first reason why we as educators should care more about their grades and performance in our classroom than they do is because they are just kids. True, I teach high school, but they are still just babies in the world. Our students lack the hindsight, foresight, and experience that we have, and sometimes they need that extra, constant push to keep trying to do their best. Our students might not be able to internalize the true value of education yet, and I don’t believe it is in their best interest for us to just give up on them.

The second reason why we as educators should care more about their grades and performance in our classroom than they do is because we might just be their biggest support system when it comes to education. I teach in an economically disadvantaged area. Many of my students come from broken homes, may not eat until the next school day, and have to deal with real-world problems that many adults never even have to think about encountering. I always want my students to know that I not only care about them, but that I also care about their future and their performance in my classroom. To show this, I make an effort to celebrate little victories -even unmeasurable victories like a student putting forth some extra effort. Sometimes our students who struggle the most just need to know that we are on their side cheering for them and that we are there to help them succeed.

What do you do to show your students that you genuinely care about them, their grades, and their future?