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The 12 Most Important Things Children Want From Their Teachers

October 10, 2011
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In an article posted by Angela Maiers on September 6 in The 12 Most, she outlines the 12 things children want from their teachers.  I am not sure I could have come up with a better list.  I totally agree with her list and am pretty confident we don’t need a survey of 10,000 children to verify whether the list is 100% accurate.  As teachers, we can all identify with this list if we are honest with ourselves.  About 10 out of the 12 “important things” are in the affective domain of the relationship the teacher establishes with the student.  Only two or maybe three of the things pertain to content and skills.  Don’t get me wrong, I believe a really good teacher is passionate about teaching content and skills, but we “teach students not content.”  (This is a quote we hear often from teachers who understand that students trump content.) 

Here is her list:

1. Greet me each day: Wish me good morning, and send me off with a “see ya tomorrow.”

2. Smile: When you look at me, let me see happiness in your eyes.

3. Give me your attention: Sit and talk with me privately; even if only for a second.

4. Imagine with me: Help me dream of things I might be able to do; not just the things I need to do now.

5. Give me challenging content and assignments: Show me how to handle it. Teach me what to do.

6. Ask about me: Inquire about my weekend, the game a played, the places I go. It shows you care about my life.

7. Let me have time: Time to let things sink in. Time to think. Time to reflect, process, and play.

8. Demand of me: Hold me accountable to high standards. Don’t let me get away with what you know I am capable of doing better.

9. Notice Me: Leave special messages in my desk or locker. Just a quick not that says you notice something right.

10. Let me ask the questions: Even if they are off topic. It will show that I am thinking about new perspectives, curious, and willing to learn more. Let me have the chance to show what I am wondering about, not just what I know.

11. Engage me: I came to you in love with learning, keep me excited, keep me wanting more.

12. Trust me: Believe that I can do it. Allow me the chance. I promise to show you I can.

What do you think of this list?  Would you add any other things that are important to children?

Kudos to Maier for this insightful piece.

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