Do you remember your 3rd grade teacher…your 7th grade science teacher…your 12th grade math teacher? Did they love you? Did they care about you, in spite of what you did? We believe that successful teaching is grounded in a love for students. Students need a teacher who cares about them, looks out for them, and guides them all along the way. This love is never to be confused with a “romantic love” nor should this love be without accountability. Instead, this love is a caring and supporting love with accountability—the foundation for a strong relationship. When teachers use Words of Love they display their belief that everyone needs to be loved, cared for and valued. Words of Love demonstrate the patience to endure students’ misbehavior and an unwavering commitment and belief that students can improve! Words of Love tell students “you are worth my time and undivided attention” and they inspire students to use their own words, talents and gifts to help others.
Teaching is a matter of the heart, and Best Practice Language (BPL) resonates with the heart! As Positive Behavior Support and Intervention (PBIS) programs work to develop and maintain strong relationships between teachers and students, between students and students, and between teachers and parents, Words of Love will create warm and meaningful connections with students, parents, and teachers. The following Best Practice Language (BPL) examples demonstrate an intentional desire to connect with students’ hearts to build meaningful relationships.
“Did you know that I think about how to help you even when you’re not around…I think about how to help you understand something in class…I get worried about you when I can tell that something is on your mind…and I spend time planning to make each class meaningful for you.”
“I care too much about you to see you act this way. I know we can figure out a way for you to handle this.”
“I am here to help each and every one of you. Do not hesitate to ask for help or to come to me for advice. My job is to be here for you and give you the care and attention you need.”
“I’m concerned about the way you’ve been acting…is everything ok?”
Words of Love: Daily Reminders
Remember… Ground your discipline strategies and words in love.
Remember… Be mindful that you need to demonstrate a balance of love and authority. Too much love with no authority can lead to chaos and no boundaries for students. Too much authority with no love can leave students feeling disconnected and disengaged.
Remember… Take every opportunity to make “one-on-one” connections with students.
Remember… Sure it’s important for you to have the most current instructional tools of your profession–but it’s your capacity to care and connect with your students that will make the biggest difference.
This post is part eleven in a series of posts on what Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) “sounds like” in the classroom. The original post can be found at: eyeoneducation.com