Top 10 things educators don’t know about students

In my years as a teacher, trainer, and student, I have been frequently overwhelmed by how completely awesome educators are. In general, teachers are caring, kind, generous souls who love kids. They give of themselves and work hard. But we are not perfect, and we all have a few blind spots. Sometimes those blind spots become areas of great concern. Do we forget some of the most important things about students?  Sometimes I wonder if educators know these things at all. The day-to-day business of education sometimes distracts us from some of the realities that could allow us to be even stronger educators. Here are ten truths we cannot ignore:

  1. A student’s background and/or home life are not his or her fault.
  2. Past performance (for a child) is not a strong indicator of future success.
  3. Report card grades are not a measure of intelligence.
  4. There are many ways to be successful in life; academics is only one.
  5. Unlikable, unsuccessful kids often need the most love and attention.
  6. Likable, successful kids often need the least attention.
  7. Any student who reads below grade level is going to find school challenging.
  8. Refusal to complete homework is usually related to the student’s home environment.
  9. Not all parents raise children the way we think they should, but that’s their business.
  10. Growing up is tough, and requires missteps, rebellion and awkwardness.

The great news is that most of us know better. We remind ourselves of one or more of these when necessary. We are reminded by colleagues and positive interactions with students. What would make your top 10? Respond in the comments!

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