“Young people don’t want to “hear” that you care. They want to “see” it through your actions. For example, when that athlete gets frustrated because he can’t hit a curveball and continually strikes out, that’s a good time to work with him after practice in the batting cage helping him with the mechanics to correct his swing. Once the athlete sees you give them the time and attention, they will know your concern for them is genuine. If we don’t give others our time and attention, they are going to not only think we don’t care, but that we have let them down.”—Dr. Jeff Athey, Principal Dodgeville HS
Giving our students time and personal attention during our intervention time or after school lets them know we are there for them. We can be counted upon to help them succeed. Spending extra time supporting students in the learning process shows them with our actions that we care about their success. Teachers have known for a long time—and educational research has validated this belief—that a quality teacher-student relationship has a very positive effect on student learning. And the very foundation of a quality teacher-student relationship is a teacher who demonstrates that they care about each student’s learning.
In this context, I am really proud of what our teachers are doing to help students individually and in small groups both during the intervention time and after school. Last week on several occasions I was walking back from the middle school at nearly 3:00 pm, and each day I saw 3-6 students in each math classroom working with their teachers. The teachers were not behind their desks, they were right there with the students, offering guidance and providing feedback. If I walk around the school during our intervention times on any given day, I see the same in all of our classrooms around the school. Students getting very personalized extra support in the learning process. Clearly, these teachers are showing that they care about their students.
The primary thing that we want all parents to know is that while teachers schedule students into intervention time on a daily basis, students can also invite themselves, and they will be welcomed. Students who want extra help during intervention time or after school are not being turned away. Our advice to parents is that next time your child is struggling a little bit in any class, expect them to take the initiative to spend some extra time with their teacher. There is no better solution than this if they are willing to invest a little more time during intervention or after school.