My students continue to astound me with their honest and candid feedback.
Me: "Did someone take my scissors? I can't find them." (A student had recently came to my desk and borrowed something. I thought it might have been my scissors when I couldn't find them...)
(A few minutes later, I found them under my interactive notebook and next to the document camera...)
Me: "I found them."
Student: "So we didn't take them."
Me: "No, you didn't. I apologize for blaming you."
Me: "Yes, I apologize. I shouldn't have assumed that one of you had taken them when I couldn't find them."
Student: "You're the only teacher I have ever heard apologize to their class."
Other Student: "Yes, teachers never apologize when they blame students for something they didn't do."
The rest of the class agrees with this statement and adds supporting details.
Another Student: "Thank you for apologizing."
Another Student: "Yes, thank you for apologizing. I appreciate it."
Students are working 2 bellwork problems on factoring. I am typing up the next 5 review problems to project on the Smart Board.
Student: "We need help."
Me: "Okay. Let me finish typing this problem, and then I would love to help you."
Me: "Yes, I would love to help you. Let me just finish typing this, and I will be right there."
Student: "That's the first time I've ever heard a teacher say that they would love to help us."
Other Student: "Yeah. Most teachers don't like helping students. They don't like it when we ask questions. No teacher has ever told us they would love to help us."
These students then proceed to tell me about teachers ignoring them when they raise their hands.
Moral of the Story
Students are very observant. They notice what we say and don't say. I need to be intentional in my every action. Whether I mean for it to or nor, every action or inaction sends a message to my students.