Thoughts on fostering growth through empathy
- a blog for parents -
I have had the opportunity to think and talk about my grade 5 Teacher today, Mrs. Royal.
Mrs. Royal was an unexpected gift in my life. She was a substitute teacher who was assigned to our class after our regular teacher took a leave early in the school year. Without any reservations, I can honestly say that she was my favourite teacher and changed my life. Why? Because, while other teachers saw and extolled my weaknesses, she saw and shared her observations about my strengths while offering NO commentary about my weaknesses. Frankly, I had no idea I had strengths until I met her.
What I had known about myself prior to meeting Mrs. Royal was that I talked too much and needed to learn to sit still more and could learn better if only I applied myself - whatever that meant! I was a C student with a few B's at best and did not know - could not imagine - I was capable of more. She saw ME. She saw MORE. And because SHE saw more, I saw more and have never looked back.
It only takes one adult... One caring adult... One wise, compassionate, caring adult to SEE a child as they are, to value that child as they are, and to SEE what they are capable of being, doing, becoming. Without having to DO anything about it beyond bearing witness and acknowledging that they SEE those strengths. From that point, a child can BE, DO, ACHIEVE and BECOME anything they want to.
Who was your favourite teacher? Why?