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Kids World

Topics of interest to teachers of English as a second or foreign language to young learners.

February 15, 2005

Valentine's Day

Kids Happy Valentine's Day. As you know, Valentine's Day is a special day on which we show our affection to those dear to us. Back home we give cards or presents to parents, friends, colleagues, spouses, "significant others" and even teachers! May I make a suggestion to you on how to earn and receive the affection and loyalty of your students?

All you have to do is find something good in each and every one of them and sincerely acknowledge what you have discovered.

It is really very simple; all you have to do is find something good in each and every one of them and sincerely acknowledge what you have discovered. It's human nature that students are attracted to teachers who notice their good points.

As Dr. Mel Levine points out in his book "A Mind at a Time", all children's brains are circuited differently. I believe it our responsibility as teachers to find the talent and special abilities of all our pupils, not just the gifted or fast ones.

If you, yourself, look back on your studenthood, I am certain the teachers whom you admired the most were the teachers who recognized your shining attributes. As for me, my favorite teachers were my music, PE and English teachers. Why? Since I was good at those subjects, it was easy for those teachers to find good things in me. But I even liked Mr. Geddes who was the high school teacher of my worst subject, math. Why was he in my favorite teachers group? He made the comment that he thought the name Helene was a beautiful name of which I should have been proud. It probably was a minor comment which he didn't think twice about making. But it was the first time I had ever heard someone say something positive like that about my name, and I have never forgotten it.

Please try to find good things in your students. The quiet child may have the best penmanship; the noisy boy may have the best pronunciation; and the slow child may be the most helpful putting the chairs back into place, erasing the blackboard and helping you out at the end of class. I believe it is our job as teachers to find the good points in our students and to acknowledge those outstanding characteristics both in private and public.

Our comments should not be contrived or insincere, because children can see right through them if they are. Our comments should be from the heart. This is how I firmly believe you can earn the adoration and loyalty of students not just for Valentine's Day but all year round.

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