The holiday season helps us remember that teaching our students to hope is our most important job. While you enjoy your holiday break, take time to reflect on the important role that hope plays in your classroom. How can you instill hope in your students in the new year?
Hope accelerates learning.
Hope is the lubricant for all future successes.
We need to sell hope harder than we push our subject matter.
Without hope winning in life is impossible.
Hope will help steer your students through all of life’s challenges.
We need to instill hope first before we assign any project.
A Dozen Ways to Build Hope
- Look for ways to make your students shine. Everyone has some kind of special talent. Find it and then find a way to capitalize on it.
- Describe in detail the successes you see in a student’s future. Hope may first come from someone we admire visualizing our success and describing it to us.
- Make one-on-one eye contact with a student. Don’t just glance or teach over their heads.
- Describe to your students a time in your own life when you may have felt hopeless. Then recount how the situation resolved itself.
- Point out progress. Don’t save all your accolades for perfection.
- Bring your own enthusiasm to the classroom. Not feeling it? Fake it.
- Sit down next to a student at their desk and chat.
- Be approachable. Let students know how they can find you for a private conversation.
- Hear them out as they describe all the reasons why they can’t win, be accepted, or succeed. Then YOU make them listen to all the reasons why you know they can. Support your opinions with stories, facts and observations.
- Reflect. Think about specific students while you aren’t with them and brainstorm ways in which you can build hope within them.
- Let them know you were thinking about them. Be specific. “While I was driving to school, I was thinking about you. Here’s what I was thinking…You have no idea how talented you are.” (It is so powerful to know that a teacher cares about us and thinks about our well-being even when we aren’t in the classroom).
TEACH…To Change Lives
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