As educators it is our jobs to have conversations with students. To check for understanding of content, to provide feedback, to gain perspective. These are all viable reasons for communication.
But what about the conversation that isn’t easy. What about that conversation that you know a struggling learner needs, but you think it may be too tough or too hard. Or maybe you think it is someone else’s responsibility, not yours.
How do we have that conversation about struggling academically? How do we have that conversation about why a student chooses to act out? How do we have that conversation with a student who feels no one understands them? What about the student who sees the only way of living as struggle and conflict.
I was fortunate today to experience one of my administrators having one of these conversations with a young man. She laid out the facts, rough childhood, trouble with authority, always on the attack. She spoke with the young man of anger, of passion, of aggression. It is not always easy, but it IS always necessary. Both of my administrators continuously make a strong example for congruent communication with students. We cannot be so quick to pass the buck, or just get by doing the bare minimum our contract’s mandate.
Have those conversations, with your students, with your staff, with your students’ parents, with your administrators. If you don’t, what change for the better can occur?