It’s that time for teacher gifts
As school comes to a close, teachers are being lavished with gifts, flowers and no doubt dozens of Starbucks gift cards. As I dropped off gifts for teachers at the schools in my area ( several Wyatt the Wonder Dog books to use in their classrooms), I had to ask myself: What is the greatest gift you could give a teacher?
I recently posted a blog on the greatest gift that teachers could give their students. In the post, I reviewed the classic Rosenthal study that identified the greatest gift a teacher could give as the positive expectation of success. Children who tested as “average” became high achievers simply through the belief on the part of the teachers that they were extraordinary. Children, like the rest of us, thrive in an environment of encouragement and empowerment.
So what if instead of checking out Pinterest for the most clever and original teacher gift, we did something different? What if we gave our teachers the same positive expectation of extraordinary success? What if instead of a bouquet of flowers or a gift card, we shared with them the belief that they were transforming lives in an extraordinary way? Even better what if we shared that gift year round? Because I know from personal experience that this is why most teachers went into the profession in the first place. I bet that just like those “average” children, the “average” teacher would turn out to be a high achiever as well.
The Rosenthal Study Applied
If you applied the results of the Rosenthal study to teachers, here’s what we would accomplish:
Create a positive encouraging warm environment where teachers feel valued and trusted not scrutinized for missteps or mistakes.
Create expanded opportunities for teachers to use their own creativity and innovation in the classroom rather than constraining them with endless standards, data tracking and preparation for testing.
Provide positive feedback: As with students, we would look for opportunities to praise and encourage. We would expect and challenge teachers to be more, learn more and work in their strengths. “I believe in you and your work” is such an affirming message to share.
Just knowing that there is a community that believes in you, can transform the life of a teacher.