In a blog post titled "Sorry Confusion," Seth Godin writes, “I see you is what we crave.” He says that many of us have forgotten what it means to be human, and how much it means when we authentically care for each other.
This "authentic seeing" is deeply important to our students, and it comes when we build relationships. A wonderful article by the National Education Association suggests four ways we can build good relationships with our students.
I’d like to add two more. We need to train ourselves to be present. When in a one-on-one conference with a student, we don’t want to let thoughts about our next focus lesson creep in. It’s when we are truly present that the message “I see you and understand you” will be fully conveyed.
Lastly, we need to know students so well, and know children’s literature so well, that we can successfully match students with texts they will like/love. In Igniting a Passion for Reading: Successful Strategies for Building Lifetime Readers, Steven Layne (2009) writes about the power of handing a child a book we purchased or selected with them in mind.
It’s often said that the three most important words people need to hear are “I love you.” I would never argue with that. But I’ll tell you the four most important words that I think kids—our own and our students—need to hear. They are “I thought of you.” Those words, supported with tangible evidence, can work miracles in the life of a disengaged reader (p.15).So as the school year draws to a close, and we are inundated with the end-of-year demands that have the potential to rob our joy, let’s infuse that joy and delight back into our lives with the message "I see you—I really see you."