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Teaching with an attitude – a good one!

I love the following words from Haim Ginott. I first read it when I was an undergrad in university. It was in the “Ask Ada” column of the city paper and I cut it out. I still have that worn piece of newsprint and the passage has been my own personal teaching guideline ever since.

“I’ve come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or de-humanized.” H. Ginott

How teachers approach a lesson, a problem or a success can affect a child’s self-esteem, ambition, and enthusiasm for learning. Teachers, like parents, are entrusted with the delicate task of guiding, nurturing, and encouraging. In my life, there were many teachers whose encouraging words, positive approach and passion for teaching shaped who I am today.  I, in turn, hope to be a positive influence in the lives of my students, offering them knowledge and skills that will enrich their lives. A caring word, an extra special lesson plan, a warm smile, an open ear and time…these are the little things that make a big difference to a child.

May all teachers be blessed with a deep understanding of their potential impact on the lives of their students and may their attitudes reflect that understanding.

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