"98% of what you say, isn't coming out of your mouth." -Hitch
Today I was gifted the opportunity to be away at a retreat. While there, we had a guest speaker, and if you have any prior knowledge on guest speakers, they love to ask for volunteers. Well... she did ask, and me I was too eager to be her 1st volunteer. (Lesson learned) I quickly stood up and without background info, she asked me to tell her "what is branding?"... So before you begin to ask why... Focus on the word and think about how it has multiple meanings. (As a veteran teacher it amazes me at how my brain approaches topics, words, and thoughts these days. I see a word and view a teacher's perspective, I think of a math concept and can have a song in my head to connect with it.)
So anyway, I stand up and say "I think a brand is something that is trademarked, a brand is something that is popular or well known in stores." If you think like me, you're thinking good answer, right? Well, unfortunately, the presenter was not looking for that definition, she proceeded to get another definition from another lady and then complimented her with a gift. CRAZY! Right??? Yes, I was shocked to say the least, bc I know that I gave her a definition of branding. (FYI- in my mind, I'm really mad at this point, bc I know there are at least 3 definitions off hand) So basically, ... she got the prize and I didn't... although I DID give a correct definition. (You hopefully can imagine how I felt.)
As teachers we are often searching for specific answers to questions asked. We ask our students questions based on what has been taught and we encourage them regardless, whether right or wrong. This moment gave me a glimpse into how it feels to be the student(s) who may not have/give the right answer. This made me think of all students who do not receive "class cash" or "tickets" for right answers. The strugglers, the behavior problems and the quiet ones who fear being wrong. If students feel inadequate they will not be their best, they will shut down and hold it inside, just as though I found myself doing today. I can easily see how trust can be broken and how student-teachers relationships can fall apart based off one encounter.
Charge for all:
I charge all teachers and parents to continue to build up your students/children. Encourage them through the struggles, speak positivity into their lives,and should you choose to reward students for answering questions, give them something for participating. Always show that you support them, and are thankful for their hard effort, they may not be right but they ARE trying.
This post is dedicated to all those who have ever felt inadequate. Those who have ever felt wrong and were truly hurt. We as PEOPLE have the power to make someone feel supported, and it doesn't always come from what you say. (Body language)