Lesley's Lessons and Learnings

Hug, High Five or Handshake?

Posted on: January 7, 2011

Taken from Flikr - fringuellina

One of my all-time favourite educational quotes is “Your students may not remember what you taught them… but they will forever remember the way you made them feel.” I look at a small plaque sitting on my desk that was given to me by a student a few years ago and am reminded of this everyday.

Teaching is all about relationships and connecting positively with kids.  I realize that my job as a teacher goes far beyond the scope of curricular outcomes and objectives for every subject area.  To me, my job is also to be a positive part of a child’s life everyday.  I am not in control of a child’s home life or external factors affecting a child outside of school, so all I can control is what happens inside my classroom and how I make a child feel when they are in my care at school.  I try to ensure my students know that I love teaching them, believe in them, I’m proud of them, and know they are capable of success.  Individual success.  That being said, every child is not at the same place, but we take them from where they’re at… not where they should be or where their peers are, and work on growth and progress their an individual place.

I like to end our day, no matter how difficult it may have been, on a positive note and ensure all of my students leave school happy.   As my students were lined up and ready to go home, they chose which they wanted to give me on their way out the door… a hug, a high five, or a handshake.  I love ending our day on a positive note!  There’s one piece of the puzzle that doesn’t make it quite as easy as before.  Now that I am teaching part-time at 0.8 FTE, I don’t have my students at the end of the day.  Since they are with my teaching partner at the end of every day, I try to do it at some point throughout the day.  I truly do try, but it doesn’t happen every single day, but as often as possible!  I’m working on this!

How will your students remember you?


5 Responses to "Hug, High Five or Handshake?"

Fantastic. Simply fantastic. I can’t think of a better way to end the day, and by putting the decision on your students as to how they want to say goodbye, this is simply good teaching. Well Done!

Thank you very much for your kind words, Brad! Nice way for teachers to end the day too… can’t get much better than ending the day happy, just like the kids, right?!

Lesley, Your words are a model for all of us to follow. Relationships – The Real Meaning of Life. Love the post, love it, love it love it!

Thank you for your comment, Rich! You’re right – life is all about how we get along with people… family, kids, friends, colleagues, students, everyone!

This article has nothing to do with the complex social situation of ending a conversation with a hug, handshake or High Five as the title suggests.

I wouldn’t mind reading more about your tactless self kudos but please title it correctly.

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January 2011
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