I shared the first part of my journey with several amazing ladies, beginning with a teacher I will call Ms. G.; she and I worked at Cornerstone together for three years. She was never without a smile! She was a tough-as-nails, no-nonsense kind of lady with a heart of gold.
Her goal was always to point the students to Jesus. She had a way of telling you things, even things that are hard to hear, that made you thankful she spoke into your life.
The lesson I learned from Ms. G was that a soft answer turns away more than just wrath; it can set parents at ease and calm a tense situation. When a parent conference must be done, it must be done with the goal of the child’s best interest at the core of everything. There are times when the situation calls for some hard truths to be told to parents, to teachers, and to students. If the teacher or principal has cultivated the foundation of the relationship with kind words, the soil will be ready to receive the lesson and the growth can happen.
I have not perfected this by any means but try my best to practice the art of being calm and speaking softly. Words fitly spoken are rare commodities these days. So many times we just want to get our point across no matter the destruction it causes, so we just say what we think and how we feel. As professionals in the field of education, we do not have the luxury of saying everything we think, because students are watching and listening to every syllable.
Confrontation is a usual outcome of conflict, and in the class sometimes it is inevitable. A great teacher can dispel the conflict with words of wisdom spoken with grace and gentility. In the position of leadership, we are called upon to be humble when dealing with others. The students with whom we are entrusted to care for are not ours; they belong to parents who love them and want the very best for them. It is our job to treat them with kindness and respect.
Words and conversations filtered with kindness will benefit everyone. The students will have an example of how to control what you say and speak with words that encourage and do not tear down. The parents will see that praising effort and notability will do wonders for their child’s success.
When kindness rules your words, teachers that you work with will know they can count on you and your support, and students will know that you care about them.
“Children learn best when they like their teacher and
when they think their teacher likes them”